Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1994 Mar;89(3):147-51.



Assessment of sociocultural influences on the aesthetic body shape model in anorexia nervosa.


Toro J, Salamero M, Martinez E.



Departament de Psiquiatria, Universitat de Barcelona, Hospital Cl?ic, Spain.



The prevailing aesthetic body shape model in our culture-that of slenderness-plays a leading role in eating disorders. A questionnaire (CIMEC) was prepared in an attempt to measure the influence of the agents and situations that transmit this model. The CIMEC questionnaire was applied to 59 anorectics and 59 normal girls matched by age and social class. Highly significant differences were found between the scores obtained from both groups, showing the patients to have a much greater involvement with the sociocultural agents encouraging weight loss. Factorial analysis of the discriminating items gave rise to 5 factors, each of which also significantly differentiated between anorectics and the normal group. The questionnaire, in two versions, showed satisfactory internal consistency and appropriate sensitivity and specificity and would serve as a sound instrument for screening. It calls into question the causal relationship between anorexia nervosa and sociocultural influences.

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