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Relation of Dieting and Voluntary Weight Loss to Psychological Functioning and Binge Eating

G. Terence Wilson, PhD
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From Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey. Requests for Reprints: G. Terence Wilson, PhD, GSAPP, Rutgers University, Box 819, Piscataway, NJ 08854.

Copyright 2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1993;119(7_Part_2):727-730. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-119-7_Part_2-199310011-00020
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Voluntary weight loss in obese patients consistently reduces negative emotions such as depression and anxiety in the short term. Dieting by persons of normal weight is associated with low self-esteem and depressive symptoms. Dieting is linked to the development and maintenance of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, although the precise nature of this association is unclear. Dieting cannot be a sufficient causal condition and must combine with other still undetermined vulnerabilities to cause eating disorders. Identification of these risk factors must precede the development of effective programs to prevent eating disorders.





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