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Apple-Shaped Body? You Could Be Prone to Binge Eating

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If you store more of your fat around your trunk and abdominal region, you may be at risk for the development of eating disorders, according to new research.

Having an apple-shaped body was linked to a sense of loss of control around food, the Drexel University team found, and women with this shape also reported less satisfaction with their bodies.

"Our preliminary findings reveal that centralized fat distribution may be an important risk factor for the development of eating disturbance, specifically for loss-of-control eating," said Dr. Laura Berner, study author.

Biological influences?

The study included 300 young adult women who were assessed over the course of 24 months for height, weight and distribution of body fat.

Researchers found that women with more central fat stores in the abdomen or trunk area were more likely to have steady increases in eating disorder behavior over time.

A one-unit increase in body fat percentage in the abdomen was linked to a 53 percent increased risk of loss of control eating over two years.

"It's possible that this kind of fat distribution is not only psychologically distressing, but biologically influential through, for example, alterations in hunger and satiety signaling," Berner said.

While body fat distribution has been studied in regards to anorexia, it hasn't been researched as thoroughly in association with binge eating behaviors, Berner noted.

"Future research should investigate whether individuals with greater central fat stores are more likely to develop bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder," she concluded.

Source: Drexel University