Obesity facts 2016 12 249(6) 424-441 doi 10.1159/000454837
Body dissatisfaction has been identified as a psychological correlate of obesity that is related to disordered eating, poor self-esteem, and depression. However, not all individuals with obesity are equally vulnerable to these correlates, and ‘normative discontent’ is present in individuals with normal weight, too. In this light, the complex relationship of body image and individual weight status seems like a worthwhile direction of research inquiry. As such, this review aims to systematically explore the degree of body dissatisfaction in individuals with obesity compared to normal-weight individuals.
A systematic literature search was conducted. All quantitative studies of adult samples reporting results regarding differences in body dissatisfaction between individuals with normal weight and obesity were included.
17 articles were found. Across studies, individuals with obesity reported higher body dissatisfaction than normal-weight individuals (questionnaires: d = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.63-1.16, p < 0.001; silhouette scales: d = 1.41, 95% CI = 0.57-2.25, p < 0.001). Meta-regression revealed a significant association of female gender and higher body dissatisfaction (b = 0.60, p = 0.007). CONCLUSION
The findings underline the severity of body dissatisfaction among individuals with obesity and especially among women. Future research recommendations are discussed.