Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Winter 12-13-2022


The current study aimed to profile styles of eating among dieting and non-dieting college-aged women, and to explore the extent to which dieting attitudes were associated with both nutritionally healthy eating and psychological well-being. A latent profile analysis was conducted using indicators of self-reported intuitive eating, binge eating, and two psychometric measures of dietary restraint; various measures of eating restraint were utilized to potentially capture distinct characteristics of dieting, such as self-discipline and disinhibition (Polivy et al., 2020; Stice et al., 2010). Four distinct probabilistic profiles emerged, indicating that individuals within the study population could be meaningfully categorized as Intuitive Eaters, Unconcerned Eaters, Moderate Dieters, or Heavy Dieters. These profiles significantly differed on psychological measures of well-being, body appreciation, impulsivity, self-efficacy, and food choice motivation. However, no group differences were observed in regard to nutritional literacy and dietary intake. As endorsement of dieting attitudes increased, so too did incidence of negative outcomes such as depressed mood and binge-eating. These results suggest that intuitive eating attitudes are inversely related to the harmful effects of dietary restriction.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Jane Ellen Smith

Second Committee Member

Dr. Sarah Erickson

Third Committee Member

Dr. Elizabeth Yeater

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Kathryn Coakley




dieting, women, intuitive eating, nutrition, restriction, binge eating

Document Type