Fat talk, old talk, or both? Association of negative body talk with mental health, body dissatisfaction, and quality of life in men and women

Savannah C. Hooper, Lisa Smith Kilpela, Victory Ogubuike, Carolyn Black Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Little research has investigated the harmful effects of old talk—negative age-related body talk—on mental health and quality of life despite substantial research examining fat talk. Old talk also has only been evaluated in women and in relation to few outcomes. Of note, old talk and fat talk are strongly correlated, suggesting possible overlap in elements that drive negative outcomes. Thus, the primary aim of this study was to investigate the extent that old talk and fat talk contribute to negative mental health and quality of life outcomes when examined in the same model and when interacting with age. Methods: Adults (N = 773) ages 18–91 completed an online survey assessing eating disorder pathology, body dissatisfaction, depression, aging anxiety, general anxiety, quality of life, and demographics. Results: While fat talk and old talk were correlated with almost all outcome variables, fat talk was more commonly significantly associated with poorer outcomes than old talk. Additionally, the relationship between fat talk and old talk with poorer mental health was affected by age in men, but not women. Conclusions: Future research is warranted to decipher the individual effects of old talk and fat talk on mental health and quality of life across the adult lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number77
JournalJournal of Eating Disorders
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Eating disorder pathology
  • Fat talk
  • Old talk
  • Quality of life
  • Weight talk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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