A study from Adelaide’s Flinders University published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders has revealed that a relaxed, content body could lead to better eating. Researchers analysed people’s ability to accept and act on limiting how much their body appearance and weight affects their lives, known as ‘body flexibility’. Those with a greater level of flexibility were found to have a better relationship with food and healthy eating.
“People with higher flexibility have better outcomes in eating disorder treatment,” the research asserts. Participants with greater body flexibility not only had lower eating disorder issues at each assessment point during the study, they were also more likely to reduce their poor eating habits.
“We were also interested in the extent of people doing body checking, which is an overuse of observing themselves in mirrors, pinching and measuring body parts, and checking their weight on scales,” says Flinders University Psychology researcher Mia Pellizzer, adding that they also explored “whether people were consciously avoiding mirrors, tight clothing and weighing themselves on scales. We know that both these extremes are commonly targeted in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.”
The study also found that a person’s body flexibility can actually help prevent eating disorders. Furthermore, body flexibility can reveal insight into how someone’s body image affects their mood, time management, relationships and more.