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Emily Hansen

Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Matthew Vukovich


This dissertation is an exploration of associations between weight related eating behaviors, weight satisfaction and biological indicators of low energy availability in college aged females. Data presented in this dissertation were collected from two independent samples. Sample One contains cross-sectional data from a large group of college students who completed an online survey. The survey instrument included demographic questions that assessed height, weight, satisfaction with body weight, nutrition education and validated instruments including the Weight Related Eating Questionnaire (WREQ) and The Sociocultural Attitudes Toward Appearance Questionnaire-3 (SATAQ-3). Data from Sample One are included in the analysis for Chapter 2, focused on exploring differences in WREQ subscales between athletes, nonathletes who exercise regularly and inactive controls. Sample One was also used for the analysis presented in Chapter 3 exploring the differences between college-aged females who are satisfied or dissatisfied with their body weight. Sample two contains longitudinal data collected in a small sample of college females, categorized as competitive endurance athletes, recreational exercisers and less active controls. Participants visited the human performance laboratory three different times. Tests performed at each visit included: resting energy expenditure, body composition, height, weight, blood samples, 3-day diet records, 7-days of accelerometer wear and maximal graded exercise test on a treadmill. Data collected from Sample Two are used in the cross-sectional analysis from Chapter 3 exploring differences between weight satisfied and weight dissatisfied college females at baseline for the anthropometric and biological outcomes collected. Findings from data collected in Sample Two are also reported in the repeated measures ANOVA presented in Chapter 4. Results of the study indicate that there are significant differences in subscale scores of the WREQ between the athletes, recreational exercisers and sedentary participants in Sample One. There are also significant differences in outcomes between those who are satisfied with their body weight and those who are dissatisfied. Although the analysis in Chapter 4 appears to be underpowered, the lack of difference over time or between groups can be explained by the fact that none of the participants in the sample had energy availability lower than 20 kcal/kg lean body mass per day.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women athletes -- Nutrition
College student -- Nutrition
Body image in women
Eating disorders in women
Energy metabolism


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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