Internet-based Intervention May Help At Risk Young Women Prevent Eating Disorders
A study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health shows that an Internet-based intervention program may prevent high-risk college age women from developing eating disorders.
Thornton: It's not uncommon for college-aged women to be concerned with image. For some young women, however, this concern can develop into an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Now, a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health shows that an Internet-based intervention program may prevent high-risk college age women from developing such disorders. The goal of the program was to reduce college women's concerns about body weight and shape, to improve body image, and increase knowledge about the risks associated with eating disorders. Dr. Barr Taylor, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford Medical Center and lead author of the study talked about the results.
Taylor: The main goal of the study was to prevent the onset of eating disorders in all women who have high weight and shape concern. I would say that we had some evidence that we were able to reduce the rate overall but in terms of the goal of the higher risk population we were able to reduce this significantly. This is perhaps the only study that has ever shown that you can prevent the onset of an eating disorder in an at risk older population. So we are obviously very pleased with the results.
Thornton: The study looked at a successful program among women who had a body mass index of 25 or more at beginning of the program. The study also showed that after two years, women who began the "Student Bodies" program with elevated BMI's reported no cases of eating disorders, whereas nearly twelve percent of the women in the control group with comparable BMI's developed eating disorders during the same time period. The results of this study can be found in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Matt Thornton in Bethesda Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Matt Thornton
Sound Bite: Dr. Barr Taylor
Topic: Eating Disorders