Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Muzaffar, Henna

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Health Studies


Weight bias internalization (WBI) is the tendency to blame oneself for negative weight-based stereotypes and external influences. WBI has been shown to have negative effects on both physical and mental health. The purpose of this study is to examine the association between WBI, disordered eating, and dieting and whether intuitive eating moderates these relationships in a sample of college students. This study utilized a cross-sectional survey design to gather quantitative data. College undergraduate students (N = 652) from a Midwestern university were recruited via email. Data were analyzed in SPSS, using descriptive statistics, multiple linear regression, ordinal, and binary logistic regression. The average age of the participants was 20.80 ± 4.27 years, and most participants were White (57.2%) and female (64.0%). WBI was significantly associated with disordered eating (β = 0.516, p < .001). Additionally, diet frequency (β = 0.240, p < .001), stress (β = 0.185, p < .001), perceived weight status (β = 0.179, p < .001), being female (β = 0.063, p = .007), anxiety (β = 0.035, p < .001), and being diagnosed with a psychological condition (β = 0.060, p = .019), each were significantly and positively associated with disordered eating. WBI and dieting were not significantly associated after controlling for confounding variables. Intuitive eating was not found to be a moderator in the relationships between WBI and disordered eating as well as WBI and dieting. Further research is needed to determine other variables influencing the relationships among disordered eating, dieting, and WBI to decrease disordered eating behaviors in college students.


129 pages




Northern Illinois University

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