Interactive role of weight status and fat talk on body dissatisfaction: an observation of women friends

  • Chong Man ChowEmail author
  • Ellen Hart
  • Cin Cin Tan
Original Article



The current study examined the interactive role of weight status and fat talk on body dissatisfaction among women friends.


Sixty pairs of women friends completed a measure of body dissatisfaction and engaged in an observed fat talk interaction with their friend.


Women’s weight status was related to their own, but not their friend’s, body dissatisfaction. Observed fat talk was significantly related to individuals’ own and their friend’s body dissatisfaction. A significant interaction effect showed that the association between fat talk and body dissatisfaction was minimal for women with higher weight status. In contrast, fat talk was associated with more body dissatisfaction for women with lower weight status.


These findings suggest the importance of examining the conjoint effect of personal (e.g., weight status) and contextual (e.g., fat talk) factors on body image issues.

Level of evidence

V, cross-sectional descriptive study.


Weight Body dissatisfaction Fat talk Friends Actor–partner interdependence model Moderation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA
  2. 2.Center for Human Growth and DevelopmentUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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