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Preventing childhood eating disorders

Resource type
Date created
2023-11
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Background: Eating disorders affect many young people, with recent estimates suggesting that 0.2% of 12- to 18-year-olds have these disorders at any time. These disorders also have a much greater mortality rate than the general population. Given this, the prevention of eating disorders is crucial.
Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating universal and targeted eating disorder prevention programs. After applying our rigorous inclusion criteria, we accepted three RCTs, with one evaluating a universal program and two evaluating targeted programs.
Results: The universal education program successfully prevented bulimia, excessive dieting and the undue influence of body shape or weight on self-esteem. The Virtually Delivered Body Project prevented eating disorders and reduced eating disorder symptoms, restricting food to change shape or weight, body shape dissatisfaction and internalizing of the thin ideal. The Dissonance program only lessened eating disorder symptoms.
Conclusions: The available research indicates there are effective universal and targeted interventions for preventing eating disorders. Expanding efforts to prevent eating disorders using programs with evidence of success is a key way to reduce the number of young people with these conditions.
Document
Publication title
Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly
Document title
Preventing childhood eating disorders
Publisher
Children’s Health Policy Centre, Simon Fraser University
Date
2023-11
Volume
17
Issue
4
First page
1
Last page
15
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Download file Size
RQ-17-04-Fall.pdf 3.58 MB

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