Disgust and Self-Disgust in Eating Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Disgust and self-disgust are aversive emotions which are often encountered in people with eating disorders. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of disgust and self-disgust in people with eating disorders using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The systematic review of the literature revealed 52 original research papers. There was substantial heterogeneity regarding the research question and outcomes. However, we found 5 articles on disgust elicited by food images, 10 studies on generic disgust sensitivity, and 4 studies on self-disgust, and we proceeded to a meta-analytic approach on these studies. We found that women with eating disorders have significantly higher momentary disgust feelings in response to food images (1.32; 95% CI 1.05, 1.59), higher generic disgust sensitivity (0.49; 95% CI 0.24, 0.71), and higher self-disgust (1.90; 95% CI 1.51, 2.29) compared with healthy controls. These findings indicate the potential clinical relevance of disgust and self-disgust in the treatment of eating disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1728
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


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