Health at Every Size College Course Reduces Dieting Behaviors and Improves Intuitive Eating, Body Esteem, and Anti-Fat Attitudes

J Nutr Educ Behav. Jul-Aug 2015;47(4):354-60.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2015.01.008. Epub 2015 Mar 10.


Objective: To investigate the effects of a Health at Every Size general education course on intuitive eating, body esteem (BES), cognitive behavioral dieting scores, and anti-fat attitudes of college students.

Methods: Quasi-experimental design with 149 students in intervention (45), comparison (66), or control (46) groups. Analysis of variance and post hoc Tukey adjusted tests were used.

Results: Mean scores for total general education course on intuitive eating (P < .001), unconditional permission to eat (P < .001), reliance on hunger (P < .001), cognitive behavioral dieting scores (P < .001), BES appearance (P = .006), BES weight (P < .001), and anti-fat attitudes (P < .001) significantly improved from pre to post in the intervention group compared with control and comparison groups.

Conclusion and implications: Students in the Health at Every Size class improved intuitive eating, body esteem, and anti-fat attitudes and reduced dieting behaviors compared with students in the control and comparison groups.

Keywords: Social Cognitive Theory; college students; intuitive eating; weight management.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Diet, Reducing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult