Body image and disordered eating in older women: a Tripartite Sociocultural model Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Evidence suggests that body image concerns and disordered eating exist in women even at older ages. Few studies have examined the factors that are related with body image and eating concerns in this age group. In particular, the roles of sociocultural influences and thin-ideal internalization remain unclear. In the present study, we tested a modified tripartite sociocultural model of body image and disordered eating behaviors in a sample of 222 women aged 60 to 75 years, using structural equation modeling. After adjustment, a model similar to that observed in young women was a good fit to the data. Perceived pressure from the media revealed a direct relationship with body image concerns, as well as an indirect relationship mediated by thin-ideal internalization. Peer pressure was directly associated with body image concerns, and thin-ideal internalization was associated with dieting. In older women, pressure to conform to appearance ideals, in particular from the media, may impact the internalization of appearance ideals and body image concerns that might, in turn, increase disordered eating. The usefulness of sociocultural models for framing body image and eating concerns in older women implies that similar prevention interventions to those used in younger women could be adapted to fill a gap in available resources for this group.

publication date

  • 2020