Chaise Murphy, PhD student at our Professorship, recently published a manuscript in the Journal of American College Health. With this paper, the aim was to answer whether normal college women exhibit relationships between eating behavior traits (e.g. dietary restraint, body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness) and health behaviors (e.g. diet and physical activity) frequently seen in eating disorder patients and figure athletes. This is important because these behaviors may explain the cycles of weight loss and weight gain experienced by many college students. We recruited college women enrolled in an introductory nutrition course to answer surveys, perform a VO2max test and come to the laboratory for body composition analysis. This study is novel in that it evaluates these relationships described in athletes and eating disorder patients in normal college women. The most important finding was that many of the relationships tested for were present in normal college women. Additionally, it was discovered that the strongest predictor of body composition was aerobic fitness. The results of this research show that normal college women have similar relationships between eating behavior traits and health behaviors which may explain their high likelihood of experiencing weight loss and weight gain.
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