Despite significant advances in the development of prevention and treatment interventions for eating disorders and disordered eating over the last decade, there still remains a pressing need to develop more effective interventions. In line with the 2008 Medical Research Council (MRC) evaluation framework from the United Kingdom for the development and evaluation of complex interventions to improve health, the development of sound theory is a necessary precursor to the development of effective interventions. The aim of the current review was to identify the existing models for disordered eating and to identify those models which have helped inform the development of interventions for disordered eating. In addition, we examine the variables that most commonly appear across these models, in terms of future implications for the development of interventions for disordered eating. While an extensive range of theoretical models for the development of disordered eating were identified (N = 54), only ten (18.5%) had progressed beyond mere description and to the development of interventions that have been evaluated. It is recommended that future work examines whether interventions in eating disorders increase in efficacy when developed in line with theoretical considerations, that initiation of new models gives way to further development of existing models, and that there be greater utilisation of intervention studies to inform the development of theory.
- Disordered eating
- Eating disorders