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Identifying Factors Which Influence Eating Disorder Risk during Behavioral Weight Management: A Consensus Study.

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McMaster, Caitlin M 
Johnson, Brittany J  ORCID logo


This study aimed to understand clinician, researcher and consumer views regarding factors which influence eating disorder (ED) risk during behavioral weight management, including individual risk factors, intervention strategies and delivery features. Eighty-seven participants were recruited internationally through professional and consumer organizations and social media and completed an online survey. Individual characteristics, intervention strategies (5-point scale) and delivery features (important/unimportant/unsure) were rated. Participants were mostly women (n = 81), aged 35-49 y, from Australia or United States, were clinicians and/or reported lived experience of overweight/obesity and/or ED. There was agreement (64% to 99%) that individual characteristics were relevant to ED risk, with history of ED, weight-based teasing/stigma and weight bias internalization having the highest agreement. Intervention strategies most frequently rated as likely to increase ED risk included those with a focus on weight, prescription (structured diets, exercise plans) and monitoring strategies, e.g., calorie counting. Strategies most frequently rated as likely to decrease ED risk included having a health focus, flexibility and inclusion of psychosocial support. Delivery features considered most important were who delivered the intervention (profession, qualifications) and support (frequency, duration). Findings will inform future research to quantitatively assess which of these factors predict eating disorder risk, to inform screening and monitoring protocols.


Peer reviewed: True

Funder: Sydney Medical School Foundation (University of Sydney)

Funder: Scott Rudolph University Endowed Professorship at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine


behavior change, delivery features, dieting, disordered eating, intervention strategies, obesity, overweight, Adult, Middle Aged, Behavior Control, Consensus, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Obesity, Overweight, Social Stigma, Surveys and Questionnaires, Humans, Body Weight Maintenance, Male, Female

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MRC (MC_UU_00006/6)