Bringing About Order

Eating disorder prevention treatment addresses diet and fitness

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Living in the twenty-first century, people hold a wide-variety of responsibilities and stressors, making it increasingly difficult to focus on a fitness regime or balancing a diet.

Researchers seek to find a program to combat both the symptoms of eating disorders as well as the unhealthy weight gain many women fear.

In order to promote a functional environment, doctors test a prevention technique that teaches everyday tips for living a healthy lifestyle.

"Ask your doctor about healthy eating and fitness habits."

A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology showcases Healthy Weight, a group-based prevention program. Doctors chose to work with female college students due to their high risk of a negative body image. 

The treatment seeks to instill lasting health improvements by focusing on diet and exercise. In order to test its effects, a brochure control group participated in the trial. 

According to Eric Stice, Ph.D., research scientist at the University of Texas, and his team, “intervention participants showed significantly greater reductions in body dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms, and greater increases in physical activity at post test, and significantly greater reductions in body mass index (BMI) and self-reported dieting at 6-month follow-up.”

Moderator feedback reported the participants with pressures to be thin and those with elevated symptoms experienced higher reductions in eating disorder symptoms. Moreover, those with high symptoms early on also experienced greater reductions in BMI.

Dr. Stice explains that “results indicate that this intervention reduced both eating disorder symptoms and unhealthy weight gain, but suggest it should be improved to produce stronger and more persistent effects, and that it may be useful to target young women with both body image and eating disturbances."

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Last Updated:
March 29, 2012