An examination of dieting behaviors among adults: Links with depression

Meghan M. Gillen, Charlotte N. Markey, Patrick M. Markey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


In the current study, we examined predictors of healthy and unhealthy dieting behaviors with the aim of examining whether or not weight control strategies are associated with depression. Men and women (N=198; M=24.80. years; 51% women) were recruited from a university campus and its surrounding community in the northeastern US. Participants' height and weight were measured, and they completed a survey on health behaviors and attitudes. Results indicated that women and men with high BMIs were more likely to engage in both healthy and unhealthy dieting behaviors than those with low BMIs. Additionally, women with higher levels of depressive symptoms utilized fewer healthy dieting behaviors and more unhealthy dieting behaviors. Depression was not linked to healthy or unhealthy dieting behaviors in men. These findings are discussed in terms of the potential reciprocal relationship between women's unhealthy weight control strategies and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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