Since body dissatisfaction is an essential part of anorexia/bulimia nervosa, we wanted to assess the patients' body experience before and after intensive treatment. Body experience was studied in 290 eating disorder patients, admitted to a specialised unit, after six months and again after one year using the Body Attitude Test (BAT), the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), and the Eating Disorder Evaluation Scale (EDES). The clearly negative body experience of eating disorder patients evolved in a positive way after therapy and this improvement lasted for up to one year after admission. EDI scores and Body Mass Index at the time of admission appeared to be the strongest predictors of the total BAT score at follow-up. Athough body dissatisfaction can be quite persistent in eating disorders, intensive treatment can substantially improve the patients' body experience. (C) 1999 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS.