"It runs in my family ": The association of perceived family history with body dissatisfaction and weight bias internalization among overweight women. Academic Article uri icon


  • Aspects of poor body acceptance (BA), such as internalized weight bias and dissatisfaction with one's shape and size, are the strongest predictors of disordered eating and are associated with reduced engagement in healthy behaviors. Perceiving oneself as having a family history of overweight (PFH) could boost BA by increasing attributions for inherited, biological causes of weight. A community sample of 289 women who were overweight from the Washington, DC metropolitan area who were dissatisfied with their current weight (68% Black; 32% White) enrolled in this study in 2012. PFH of overweight was associated with decreased internalized weight bias among white women and marginally increased body shape satisfaction generally. The relationship between PFH and BA was not explained by biological attributions for weight. Perceptions that overweight runs in one's family can be protective with respect to BA. This is suggestive of the potential benefit of integrating family-based approaches into weight management interventions.

published proceedings

  • Women Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Eisenberg, M. H., Street, R. L., & Persky, S.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Eisenberg, Miriam H||Street, Richard L||Persky, Susan

publication date

  • April 2017