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A brief non-dieting intervention increases intuitive eating and reduces dieting intention, body image dissatisfaction, and anti-fat attitudes : a randomized controlled trial

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Item Summary

Title: A brief non-dieting intervention increases intuitive eating and reduces dieting intention, body image dissatisfaction, and anti-fat attitudes : a randomized controlled trial
Authors: Wilson, Rebecca Ellen
Keywords: eating disorder
Issue Date: Aug 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]
Abstract: Objective: Young adults report high levels of body image dissatisfaction and dieting, and are vulnerable to both weight gain and disordered eating. Non-dieting approaches have demonstrated psychological and physiological benefits in women who are overweight or obese. This study developed and examined a brief dissonance-based non-dieting intervention designed to help college women reject unhealthy dieting behaviors, accept their bodies, and increase healthy eating.
Method: Participants included 94 University of Hawaiʻi students, randomly assigned either to the non-dieting intervention condition or a brochure control condition. The intervention consisted of two 90-120 min interactive group sessions designed to engender the rejection of dieting, increase body acceptance, and develop healthy eating skills. Assessment measures were collected at baseline, post-treatment, and one month follow-up.
Results: The intervention produced significant improvements in the intervention group compared to the control group on measures of dieting intention, intuitive eating, body image dissatisfaction, eating concerns, anti-fat attitudes, and knowledge about the effects of dieting and healthy eating. These effects were sustained at follow-up. There were also overall improvements over time in dietary intake and mental health-related quality of life that were not specific to condition. There were no significant effects on BMI. Feedback questions gathered at follow-up showed that participants in the intervention condition reported significantly more incorporation of what they learned from the study into their lives, and greater perceived effects on motivation and self-efficacy regarding eating healthfully and rejecting the dieting mentality.
Discussion: This study extends the research on non-dieting approaches by using a brief, dissonance-based structure, and applying the intervention to a young adult sample that included participants of normal weight. The findings here indicate that a non-dieting approach can be well-received by this population and result in improvements in eating and weight-related behaviors. Study limitations such as differential attrition by condition and reliance on self-report measures are discussed. Longer follow-up is needed to assess whether the intervention effects are sustained over time and whether additional benefits might emerge such as lowered incidence of eating disorders and greater weight stability.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/100284
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Psychology



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