Previous research has shown that internalization of body image ideals, different exercise motivations, and the different types of exercise people engage in influence levels of body dissatisfaction. Recent research has shifted to examine the factors that contribute to positive body image and eating behaviors that reflect positive body image. Intuitive eating has been described as an adaptive eating style in which individuals rely on their physiological hunger and satiety cues to tell when to eat and when to stop eating, as well as eating nutrient-rich food which fuels the body. Tylka and Homan (2015) created an Acceptance Model of Intuitive Eating that proposes various variables that contribute to intuitive eating behaviors through multiple pathways. The present research examined the relationship between intuitive eating, exercise motivations and behaviors, and internalization of body image through an expanded Acceptance Model of Intuitive Eating. The participants of this study were 484 college students from a Midwestern liberal arts college and a Southern state university. The results of a series of linear regression analyses showed that all factors within the expanded model predicted intuitive eating. However, hierarchical regression analyses revealed that several mediation models hypothesized were not supported. With the addition of internalization into the model, several pathways within the model yielded strong relationships for men, as well as for women. These results suggest that internalization of body image ideals and the types of exercise people engage in are related to intuitive eating behavior. The current study aligns with previous research about intuitive eating and can be used to promote healthy eating and exercise behavior and combat body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and obesity.


Thompson, Claudia




Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology


body dissatisfaction, internalization, intuitive eating, body appreciation, appearance-related exercise motives, functional exercise motives

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2019 Harley M. Layman