Greater gastric interoception is associated with more positive body image: Evidence from adults in Malaysia and the United Kingdom

Jennifer Todd, Jane E. Aspell, David Barron, Evelyn Kheng Lin Toh, Hanoor Syahirah Zahari, Nor Azzatunnisak Mohd Khatib, Ryan Laughton, Viren Swami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gastric interoception refers to the processing of sensory stimuli originating in the gut. Previous research has found that gastric interoception (measured using a water load task) is associated with drive for thinness in young Western women. However, associations with broader facets of body image and in diverse national groups have not been previously investigated. To address these issues, we asked samples of adults in the United Kingdom (UK; N = 91, women n = 54) and Malaysia (N = 100, women n = 50) to complete a 2-stage water load task (WLT) and measures of positive body image (i.e., body appreciation, functionality appreciation). The results indicated that a greater change in the intensity of self-reported WLT-related sensations was associated with significantly higher body appreciation and functionality appreciation after accounting for gender identity, body mass index, and national group. Behavioural performance on the WLT was significantly associated with body appreciation and functionality appreciation for the Malaysian sample, but not the UK adults, after accounting for gender identity and body mass index. These findings extend previous research by demonstrating that there are significant associations between facets of gastric interoception and previously unexplored facets of body image in both Western and non-Western settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalBody Image
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image/psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Drinking/physiology
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Interoception
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Satiation/physiology
  • Stomach/physiology
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult

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