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Table 3 The Perceived Influence of Quality of Life on Eating Disorder Development and Recovery

From: Quality of life as a vulnerability and recovery factor in eating disorders: a community-based study

Quality of life domain … as a vulnerability factor … as a recovery factor
• Coping with stress through binge eating
• Competing demands leading to restriction and binge eating
• Loss of control leading to restriction
• Competing priorities leading to reduced weight/shape preoccupation
• Reduced stress creating space to address symptoms
• Perspective and self-acceptance leading to reduced overvaluation
• Weight gain and obesity leading to body image disturbance and both restrictive and bulimic behaviours
• Menopause coped with through restriction and binge eating
• Pain coped with through binge eating
• Prioritising physical health over appearance leading to reduced eating disorder behaviours
• Becoming aware of the negative physical effects of the eating disorder leading to increased motivation to recover
• Mortality shock/near-death experience leading to reduced overvaluation of weight/shape
Intimate • Weight-related teasing from partner leading to eating disorder symptoms
• Coping with neglect from partner through binge eating
• Coping with over-controlling partner through restriction
• Acceptance from a loving partner leading to self-acceptance and reduced symptoms
• Role modelling of a healthy relationship with body and food from partner leading to adoption of similar attitudes
Family • Role-modelling of negative body image and dieting from mother leading to body image disturbance, restriction, and binge eating
• Family overconsumption leading to obesity and poor body image
• Family role-modelling the use of food to self-soothe leading to binge eating
• Desire to be a positive role model to own children as motivation to address symptoms
• Support from family as an encouragement to address symptoms
Social • Weight-related teasing from peers leading to symptoms
• Validation from peers leading to maintenance of restriction
• Mirroring of unhealthy attitudes and behaviours of friends/peers
• Development of new friendship groups with healthier attitudes leading to adoption of similar attitudes
• Suggestion from friends to make positive changes
• Support from others with mental illness to seek help
• Gaining sense of fulfilment through social connection after a period of social isolation
Work/study • Work overload resulting in restriction due to lack of time
• Work overload resulting in stress resulting in self-soothing through binge eating
• Feeling productive and enjoying study and work leading to reduced stress and reduced binge eating
Finances • Poor financial situation leading to gaining sense of control through restriction
• Poor financial situation leading to poorer food choices, resulting in weight gain and body image disturbance
• Gaining financial stability leading to increased sense of control and reduced need for restriction to provide this
Leisure • Symptoms arising from pressure to maintain ideal body shape for leisure activities, including modelling and dance • Life modelling for drawing classes and engagement in contemporary dance leading to greater appreciation of diverse body shapes