Exposure to media that portrays thin women as ideal and
attractivecan lead to women internalizing the thin ideal, which results inincorporatingsocietal
standards of thinness into belief systems. Internalization of the thin-ideal is
associated with numerous detrimental effects on women, including decreased
levels of self-esteem and increased levels of body-focused anxiety, negative
emotions and disordered eating. The present study utilized a sample of women (N = 208) aged between 18 and 67 years (M = 29.44, SD = 13.08) to examine the relationship betweeninternalization
of the thin-ideal, body-focused anxiety, body mass index (BMI), and dieting
frequency. Correlational, regression and mediation analyses conducted on the
data showedthatinternalization of the thin-ideal, BMI and dieting frequencysignificantly
contributed to body-focused anxiety in women. In addition, body-focused anxiety
fullymediated the relationship between internalizationof the
thin-ideal and dieting frequency among women. BMI did not moderate the
relationship between internalization of the thin-ideal and body-focused,
indicating that women who internalize the thin-ideal are less vulnerable to
dieting unless experiencing body-focused anxiety. The results of the current
study enhance our understanding of the relationship between internalization of
the thin-ideal, body-focused anxiety, BMI, and dieting frequency among women.
Clinical implications will be discussed.
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