Stress-induced body dissatisfaction in women with binge eating disorder.

Stress is known to be a trigger for binge eating in individuals with binge eating disorder (BED). However, the influence of stressful situations on BED patients’ body image is less understood. Our study objective was to gain insight into the effects of inducing psychosocial stress on body dissatisfaction in women with BED. Overweight women with BED (n = 29) and without an eating disorder (control group, CG; n = 38) underwent the Trier Social Stress Test for Groups (TSST-G stress) and a nonstressful control task (TSST-G no stress). Additionally, to test for the influence of body salience, participants were either exposed or not exposed to a mirror. Participants repeatedly rated their current body dissatisfaction and psychological distress. Simultaneously, biological stress reactivity was measured using salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA). Participants responded to TSST-G stress with significantly higher psychological and biological stress compared to the TSST-G control task. The psychological distress response was significantly greater in women with BED than the CG. As hypothesized, exposure to acute socioevaluative stress led to exacerbated body dissatisfaction in the BED group only. The findings of the present study suggest that acute socioevaluative stress may play an influential role in BED patients’ body dissatisfaction. Body image programs might benefit from targeting stress management or coping skills in patients with BED. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)