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Protection, risk and dieting: Intermittent fasting diets and disordered eating

Langdon-Daly, JMJ; (2016) Protection, risk and dieting: Intermittent fasting diets and disordered eating. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Consideration of factors and behaviours which may increase the risk of disordered eating, or protect against these difficulties and promote resilience, can inform efforts to prevent and intervene. Part One of this thesis is a systematic review of research into protective factors against eating disorders and disordered eating in proximal social systems. A range of potential protective factors in families, schools, peer groups and neighbourhoods are identified. Many of these factors may be non-specific to eating difficulties, promoting a range of positive outcomes, while others may be more specific to disordered eating. Methodological issues in the literature which limit the ability to draw firm conclusions are discussed. Part Two presents empirical research into the impact of intermittent fasting (IF) diets on eating psychopathology, binge eating, food craving and mood. Contrary to expectation, starting a 5:2 IF diet did not result in increases in disordered eating or binge eating in healthy adult dieters, and in fact appeared to result in improvements in all outcomes. Higher scores on measures of risk factors for eating disorders at baseline were associated with greater reductions in disordered and binge-eating over the 28 day IF period. Limitations to interpretation of results are considered, along with potential clinical applications and suggestions for further research. Part Three presents a critical appraisal of the literature review and empirical paper. Assumptions informing the research questions, aspects of the research process, and potential interpretations and implications of the findings are considered, with reference to the perspective of the scientist practitioner. The empirical research in Part Two was completed as part of a joint research project. The details of the other part of this project can be found in Mahony, K. (2016). Nutrition and cognition: Exploring their relationship from two sides of the same coin. Clinical Psychology Doctorate Thesis.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Protection, risk and dieting: Intermittent fasting diets and disordered eating
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: intermittent fasting, dieting, eating disorders, disordered eating
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1516124
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