School prevention program for eating disorders in Croatia: a controlled study with six months of follow-up

Eat Weight Disord. 2006 Dec;11(4):171-8. doi: 10.1007/BF03327568.


The main purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the efficacy of a schoolbased program of eating disorder prevention on a sample of young adolescents in Croatia. The program was designed to reduce dietary restraint and preoccupation with shape and weight. One hundred and thirty-nine students (69 boys and 70 girls; mean age 12.8 years) were evaluated; 75 participated in the program (experimental group) and 64 formed the control group. Outcome measures included eating disorder attitudes, dieting behavior, selfesteem, and knowledge of the topics covered by the program. Outcome measures were evaluated one week before the intervention, one week afterwards, and during a follow-up of 6 months. The program significantly reduced eating disorder attitudes and dieting behavior, and improved knowledge in the female experimental group. A significant and positive effect on eating disorders attitude and knowledge, but not on dietary habits, was noticed in the male experimental group. No significant effects were observed in the control group. The findings of this prevention program give encouraging results and should be evaluated in further studies on larger samples.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Croatia
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • School Health Services*
  • Self Concept