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OBJECTIVES: To investigate concerns about weight, shape and eating, dietary restraint, self-esteem and symptoms of depression in overweight girls. To investigate the relationship between concerns and self-esteem and depressive symptoms in this group. METHOD: Eighteen overweight girls and 18 average-weight girls completed the child version of the Eating Disorders Examination, the Harter Self-Perception Profile and the Short Moods and Feelings Questionnaire. RESULTS: Overweight girls had more concerns about weight, shape and eating and attempted dietary restraint more often. They had more negative self-esteem related to their athletic competence, physical appearance and global self-worth and more symptoms of depression. There was an association between concerns and self-esteem based on physical appearance in the overweight group. CONCLUSION: Overweight girls show some of the psychological features associated with the development of eating disorders, including a link between concerns and self-esteem based on physical appearance. This may help to explain why childhood obesity increases the risk of a later eating disorder.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord

Publication Date





1268 - 1273


Affect, Body Height, Body Image, Body Mass Index, Body Weight, Child, Depression, Emotions, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Female, Humans, Obesity, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Risk Factors, Self Concept, Surveys and Questionnaires