A Qualitative Investigation of the Relationship Between Consumption, Physical Activity, Eating Disorders, and Weight Consciousness Academic Article uri icon


  • Previous research has identified a positive relationship between alcohol consumption and disordered eating, alcohol consumption and physical activity, and physical activity and disordered eating. However, there is a paucity of published research examining the interrelatedness of all 3 behaviors together.This study examines the relationship between alcohol consumption, disordered eating, and physical activity by exploring college students' weight management behaviors.Participants included undergraduate students (n = 36) recruited from a Midwestern university. Five distinct focus groups were conducted. Data analytic techniques included constant comparison analysis, classical content analysis, word count, and theoretical coding.Weight consciousness, characterized by guilt/worry regarding calories from alcohol consumption, represented the most salient theme. Increasing physical activity and/or decreasing caloric intake prior to/following alcohol consumption were the primary mechanisms for suppressing weight concerns.The presence of physical activity and caloric restriction within the context of alcohol consumption is original and expands our understanding of the alcohol-physical activity association.This study provides valuable information to guide campus health officials and health education specialists in the design and implementation of future intervention and policy efforts geared toward decreasing alcohol consumption while accounting for issues related to body image/weight management. 2014 Copyright SHAPE America.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Piazza-Gardner, A. K., & Barry, A. E.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Piazza-Gardner, Anna K||Barry, Adam E

publication date

  • May 2014