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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2006 Apr;74(2):263-75.

Dissonance and healthy weight eating disorder prevention programs: a randomized efficacy trial.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.


In this trial, adolescent girls with body dissatisfaction (N = 481, M age = 17 years) were randomized to an eating disorder prevention program involving dissonance-inducing activities that reduce thin-ideal internalization, a prevention program promoting healthy weight management, an expressive writing control condition, or an assessment-only control condition. Dissonance participants showed significantly greater reductions in eating disorder risk factors and bulimic symptoms than healthy weight, expressive writing, and assessment-only participants, and healthy weight participants showed significantly greater reductions in risk factors and symptoms than expressive writing and assessment-only participants from pretest to posttest. Although these effects faded over 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, dissonance and healthy weight participants showed significantly lower binge eating and obesity onset and reduced service utilization through 12-month follow-up, suggesting that both interventions have public health potential.

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