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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 12;8(11):e78223. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078223. eCollection 2013.

The effect of "in favor of myself": preventive program to enhance positive self and body image among adolescents.

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Shahaf, Community Services for the Management of Weight-Related Problems, Tel Aviv, Israel ; Department of Nutrition, Tel Hai Academic College, Upper Galilee, Israel ; School of Nutritional Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.



Positive self-esteem, emotional well-being, school achievements and family connectedness are considered protective factors against health-compromising behaviors. This study examined the effect of an interactive, community-based, media literacy and dissonance wellness program, In Favor of Myself, on the self-image, body image, eating attitudes and behavior of young adolescents. A preliminary cohort study was conducted among 972 program participants who did not take part in the controlled trial. Over 75% of participants said they would recommend the program to their friends.


A controlled trial was conducted to evaluate program acceptability, efficacy and effectiveness among 259 participants (210 in the intervention group and 49 in the control group), aged 12-14 years, who completed questionnaires during at least two assessment times. Program materials were provided, along with leaders' training, in order to ensure quality program delivery and creation of a wide network of committed program leaders.


The program significantly reduced drive for thinness and self-worth contingent upon others' approval, the gap between current body figure and ideal figure, and the impact of mood on girls' self-image. Superiority was found among those participating in the intervention group with respect to recognizing media strategies, the influence of media on desire to change, and the influence of appearance on self-confidence and drive for thinness.


In Favor of Myself shows promising results for strengthening adolescents' ability to cope with the challenges of their life stage. Suggestions for improving In Favor of Myself are presented.

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