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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Prevention across the spectrum: findings from an RCT of three programs aimed at reducing risk factors for both eating disorders and obesity

  • Simon Wilksch1Email author,
  • Tracey Wade1,
  • Susan Paxton2,
  • Sue Byrne3 and
  • S Bryn Austin4
Journal of Eating Disorders20131(Suppl 1):O36

Published: 14 November 2013


ObesityHealth PromotionDisease PreventionEating DisorderWeight Status


To date the fields of eating disorder prevention and obesity prevention have remained largely separate from each other. Many reasons exist to try to prevent these two problems simultaneously with the most compelling being that there is an overlap in risk factors (e.g., dieting).


Approximately N = 2,000 Grade 7 and Grade 8 girls and boys from schools in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia participated. Classes in each school were randomly allocated to one of three 8-lesson programs: Media Smart; Life Smart; the HELPP Initiative (Helping, Encouraging, Listening and Protecting Peers) or to a control condition (usual school classes) with risk factor and weight status assessments at baseline; post-program; 6-month follow-up and 12-month follow-up. Media Smart and HELPP have both shown promise in previous eating disorder prevention trials while Life Smart was piloted and developed for this RCT. All three programs target one or more risk factors relevant to both eating disorders and obesity.


12-month follow-up data was being collected at the time of abstract submission. This will be the first presentation of findings from this RCT.


Interpretations will be made regarding the comparative efficacy of each program as well as investigations by age group and gender.

This abstract was presented in the Prevention stream of the 2013 ANZAED Conference.

Authors’ Affiliations

School of Psychology, Flinders University, Australia
School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Australia
School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Australia
Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School & Harvard School of Public Health, USA


© Wilksch et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.