This is the first long-term, controlled study evaluating the effectiveness of a prevention curriculum designed to modify the eating attitudes and unhealthful weight regulation practices of young adolescent girls. Nine hundred sixty-seven sixth and seventh-grade girls were randomized to experimental healthy weight regulation curriculum or no-treatment control classes. A prevention intervention was developed around three principal components: (1) Instruction on the harmful effects of unhealthful weight regulation; (2) promotion of healthful weight regulation through the practice of sound nutrition and dietary principles and regular aerobic physical activity; (3) development of coping skills for resisting the diverse sociocultural influences that appear linked to the current popular obsessions with thinness and dieting. The intervention failed to achieve the hoped-for impact. We did observe a significant increase in knowledge among girls receiving the intervention and among high-risk students only, there was a small albeit statistically significant effect on body mass index. These findings question the wisdom of providing a curriculum directed at all young adolescents, most of whom are not at risk to develop an eating disorder. Rather than targeting the entire population, a healthy weight curriculum designed to modify the eating attitudes and unhealthful weight regulation practices of young adolescent girls might better focus on "at risk" students.