Details of Publication 131 for Project W011:

Ball K & Kenardy J. Body weight, body image and eating behaviours: Relationships with ethnicity and acculturation in a community sample of young Australian women. Eating Behaviors, 2002; 3(3): 205-216

A study was conducted to investigate associations between ethnicity and acculturation status and risk factors for eating disorders among young adult women. A community sample of 14,779 women aged 18-23 completed a comprehensive mail-out survey, which incorporated questions on country of birth, length of time spent in Australia, body weight, weight dissatisfaction, dieting, binge eating, and compensatory disordered eating behaviours. Results showed that risk factors for eating disorders were present across a range of ethnic groups. Further, a strong acculturation effect was observed, such that the longer the time spent in Australia, the more women reported weight-related values and behaviours similar to those of Australian-born women. Results challenge claims that risk factors for disordered eating are restricted to Caucasian females in Western societies. Implications for understanding ethnic and sociocultural influences on body weight, dieting and disordered eating are considered.