Editor's Pick - December 2022
Reliability and validity of a Chinese version of the State Feelings of Fat Scale
Confirming the reliability and validity of a scale does not readily create enthusiasm for me as a copyeditor, hoping for an interesting read as I edit! There were, however, several issues in this study by Yuan et al. that I found fascinating.
In another life I was a Physical Education teacher, so any research to do with the human body has an immediate appeal for me. The title of the scale, “State Feelings of Fat,” itself was a surprise to me: feelings of fat is not a common expression, and I was interested to learn that this was used for research into body image and esteem. This study was also the first I have come across in over 12 years’ involvement with scholarly publishing that has only female participants.
FF was a subjective perception measured through the following variables: negative sense of self, feeling out of control, coping with feeling fat, and body mass index (BMI). FF should correlate to BMI, which is the only physical measure involved here. However, in confirming the validity of this study, the authors found the SFF Scale was highly correlated to the questionnaire on eating disorders, supporting the view that FF is at the “core of the psychopathology of eating disorders.” It is of no surprise that anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and other eating disorders are predominantly issues of mental health that reveal themselves in a physical condition.
The fact that eating disorders are common among women obviously led to the authors confining the study to female participants but made me wonder why boys/men do not seem to suffer to a similar degree from such conditions. Men certainly have problems with weight, but is it that they don’t share the same psychological concerns about it as women do? This fueled my interest in learning more.
Even though one would instinctively associate nutritional problems with a lower socioeconomic population, in this study, the participants were “mostly in economically developed areas… With the improvement of the material living standard in China, individuals are paying increasingly more attention to their body image [and are] more inclined than they were previously to pursue a lower body weight and less body fat through dieting and other behaviors.” I think we would find this globally, which raises the question of how much this has to do with pressure from social media? Again, this is another interesting direction for research and learning.
After an interesting read of this validation study, I was left with more questions to explore!
Lesley Aitken | Copyeditor
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal