Paper in European Eating Disorders Review
  • Smith, E. and Rieger, E. (2009) The effect of attentional training on body dissatisfaction and dietary restriction. European Eating Disorders Review, 17, 169-176.

    The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of attentional training towards shape, weight and food related information on body dissatisfaction and dietary restriction. A total of 98 female participants were trained to attend to negative shape/weight words, positive shape/weight words, negative (high calorie) food words, positive (low calorie) food words or neutral words. Subsequently, a body image challenge was presented and participants' body dissatisfaction and dietary restriction were measured. Results indicated that negative shape/weight attentional biases exacerbated body dissatisfaction and a bias towards negative food words intensified dietary restriction. The study provides evidence for specificity in the effects of attentional biases and supports the notion that attentional training may be a useful component in interventions to improve body image and reduce dieting.