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Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2019 Sep;27(5):541-556. doi: 10.1002/erv.2674. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

A controlled study of an integrated prevention program for improving disordered eating and body image among Mexican university students: A 3-month follow-up.

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Department of Biological and Health Psychology, School of Psychology, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
School of Nutrition, Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico.


Obesity and eating disorders are currently two significant health problems in Mexico. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an integrated prevention program on university students through an exploratory controlled study that targeted specific predisposing factors of disordered eating and obesity related to healthy eating, physical activity, body image satisfaction and perceived pressure to be thin. A total of 388 university students participated (264 females and 124 males) and were assigned either to an intervention condition or one of the two control conditions (study skills vs. nonintervention); each comprised of a total of eight workshops lasting 90 min. The program did not have any effect on the male students. In contrast, there was an interaction effect for time and group in thin-ideal internalization (η2  = 0.04) and in disordered eating attitudes/behaviours (η2  = 0.03); both showed improvements over time only among the female sample. Though, the effect size was insignificant, which means that the effectiveness of this integrated prevention program was limited. Integrated prevention approaches to eating and weight-related problems are still nascent in Mexico, and further research in this field is warranted so as to fine tune future prevention programs.


Mexico; disordered eating; integrated prevention program; obesity; university students


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