Dissonance thin-ideal and didactic healthy behavior eating disorder prevention programs: Results from a controlled trial




Negative body image, a common problem among college-age women in the United States, strongly correlates with low self-esteem, disturbed eating behavior, and eating disorders. Psychoeducational programs have inconsistently shown improvement in body image, thin-ideal internalization, eating behaviors, psychosocial functioning, and self-esteem.


In the current study, college women with body image concerns (N = 84) were randomly assigned to a cognitive dissonance-based, thin-ideal internalization, single-session workshop (DTI; n = 26); a psychoeducational, healthy behavior, single-session workshop (HB; n = 24); or a wait-list control (WL; n = 34).


Comparing baseline data with 4-week follow-up data, results indicated that both DTI and HB participants reported improvement in body image, thin-ideal internalization, and eating behaviors.


Results provide evidence that both interventions effectively reduce risk factors for eating pathology. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 376–388, 2004.