Research Article
Volume 17 Issue 5 - 2022
Feminism and the Prevention of Body Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating among Young Females: Opportunities for Nutrition and Dietetic Practice
Catarina Araújo Marques Estrela1* and Lynne Kennedy2
1Catarina A.M. Estrela MSc., RDN, University of Chester and County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, UK
2L.A. Kennedy PhD., RNut, MFPH, University of Chester, UK & Zayed University, College of Natural and Health Sciences, Professor of Public Health and Nutrition, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
*Corresponding Author: Catarina Araújo Marques Estrela, MSc., RDN, University of Chester and County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, UK.
Received: November 29, 2021; Published: April 28, 2022


Introduction: Disordered eating and body dissatisfaction are socially structured responses and have been linked with eating disorders. Researchers have pointed to feminism as possible protective and predictive factor against eating disorders. Given the dramatic increase in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating associated with the dramatic rise in social media usage amongst young women in the UK, this work set out to test this hypothesis.

Methods: A non-randomized online survey, using existing validated scales was used to examine the association between body dissatisfaction, feminist identity, and disordered eating, among young women in the UK. Online social media platforms were used to recruit 224 young (aged 18 - 31) women. Following data collection, the sample was divided into two subgroups according to disordered eating criteria, positive disordered eating, and negative disordered eating. Mann-Whitney U test indicated a significant difference (p > 0.05) between the groups when two feminist subscales were assessed.

Results: The subscale Passive Acceptance had a positive Spearman’s correlation with the level of disordered eating and with the Bulimia and Food Preoccupation subscale. Multiple linear regressions demonstrated that feminism was a predictor of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating when assessed by the synthesis subscale. feminism is a protective and predictor factor of disordered eating. The link with body satisfaction however was statistically not significant (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: The inclusion of gender deconstruction strategies in non-prescriptive interventions, including health education and counselling efforts, is potentially effective in promoting body acceptance and may help prevent disordered eating in young females. Further research involving larger samples is advised to test the impact on body dissatisfaction.

Keywords: Eating Disorders; Feminism; Body Dissatisfaction; Dieting; Body Acceptance; Non-Prescriptive Therapy


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Citation: Catarina Araújo Marques Estrela and Lynne Kennedy. “Feminism and the Prevention of Body Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating among Young Females: Opportunities for Nutrition and Dietetic Practice”. EC Nutrition 17.5 (2022): 13-26.

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