Keywords: Randomized Controlled Trial | Eating Disorders | Prevention
Presentation Type: Symposium
Objective: Compare the Healthy Weight obesity and eating disorder prevention program, which promotes gradual lifestyle changes to bring energy intake and expenditure into balance, to Project Health, which adds activities to create dissonance about unhealthy eating, a sedentary lifestyle, and excess weight, and an obesity education video control condition. Method: College students at risk for these outcomes because of weight concerns (N = 364, 72% female) were randomized to condition and completed pretest, posttest, and 6, 12, and 24-month follow-up assessments. Results: Project Health participants showed significantly smaller increases in BMI at 1- and 2-year follow-up than Healthy Weight participants and controls. Project Health participants showed significantly lower overweight/obesity onset over 2-year follow-up than Healthy Weight participants and controls (13% vs. 21% and 22%). Healthy Weight and Project Health participants showed significantly greater eating disorder symptom reductions than controls at posttest, with effects persisting through 2-year follow-up. Healthy Weight and Project Health participants showed marginally lower eating disorder onset over follow-up than controls (3% & 3% vs. 9% respectively). Conclusions: The reductions in BMI increases and future overweight/obesity onset for Project Health and in eating disorder symptoms for Healthy Weight and Project Health were encouraging, particularly given that both group-based interventions were only 6-hours. Results suggest that adding dissonance-induction activities increased weight loss effects. Yet, effects were small and the eating disorder onset prevention effects were only marginal, potentially because intervention groups included both sexes, which reduced eating disorder incidence and thus sensitivity.
Oregon Research Institute
Saturday, November 18
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
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