Life Smart: A pilot study of a school-based program to reduce the risk of both eating disorders and obesity in young adolescent girls and boys

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    Abstract

    Objective To develop and pilot Life Smart, an eight-lesson program aimed at reducing risk factors for both eating disorders and obesity. Methods Grade 7 girls and boys (N = 115) from one independent school were randomly allocated to the Life Smart (two classes; N = 51) or control (three usual classes; N = 64) conditions. Risk factors were measured at baseline and post-program (5 weeks later). Results Life Smart was rated as moderately enjoyable and valuable by participants. ANCOVAs with baseline as a covariate revealed a significant main effect for group favoring Life Smart for shape and weight concern (Effect Size [ES] =. 54), with post-hoc testing finding girls particularly benefited on this variable (ES =. 78). Conclusions Feedback was generally favorable, with some suggestions for even more interactive content. The program showed more promise with girls. Informed by these findings, the program underwent revisions and is now being evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1021-1029
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
    Volume38
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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