Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Henry, Beverly W.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Health Studies




Background: Maternal dietary intake during pregnancy and the postpartum period significantly affects mothers' and infants' health. Low nutritional status and elevated weights are associated with increased health risks. Objective: To determine associations between disordered eating behaviors and body satisfaction of women with varying pre-pregnancy BMIs, during the postpartum period. Design: Exploratory research that utilized survey methods in a cross-sectional design. Recruitment included distribution of online links to the survey. Self-reported weight/height were used to measure BMI, weight gain, and loss. The EDE-Q 6.0 was utilized to assess disordered eating behaviors and the BIQ was used to assess body satisfaction. Participants: Forty-six English speaking mothers over eighteen years old up through six months postpartum with no prior eating or body image disorders were included. Statistical Analyses: Spearman's correlations were utilized to analyze comparisons between EDE-Q, BIQ scores, and weight factors, and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to analyze differences amongst these measures and demographic data. Results: Results indicated a statistical significance between EDE-Q and BIQ scores, p= 0.03, rho= 0.583. Statistically significant results were found between the EDE-Q and weight gained during pregnancy p= 0.047, rho= 0.295. Time since delivery compared to EDE-Q scores showed significance, p=0.23 rho=0.334. Results indicated a significance between exercise and the EDE-Q subscale of restriction, p=0.011. Conclusions: Disordered eating behaviors and body image are correlated. Disordered eating behaviors are associated with weight gain, time since delivery, and exercise. This research provides concepts for further research related to eating and weight status during and post pregnancy.


Advisors: Beverly W. Henry.||Committee members: Sheila Barrett; Priyanka Ghosh Roy.||Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 95 pages




Northern Illinois University

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