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Psychosocial outcomes of a non-dieting based positive body image community program for overweight adults: a pilot study

The limited success of traditional diet focused weight management interventions has lead to the development of alternative non-dieting approaches. This study evaluated the impact of a community based non-dieting positive body image program for overweight/obese adults.

Participants enrolled in the 8 week 'No More Diets' (NMD) group program completed questionnaires assessing disordered eating thoughts and behaviours, body image, motivation for exercise and psychopathology pre- and post-treatment.

Participants (n=17; 16 female; 19-78 years; BMI 25.2kg/m2-55.9kg/m2) reported elevated levels of eating disorder psychopathology, body shape pre-occupation, depression, anxiety and stress compared to community norms (p<.05) at baseline. Following the treatment there were significant improvements in body shape pre-occupation, shape concern and eating attitudes (p < .05), and moderate to large effect sizes (0.3-0.35) for improvements in reported weight concern, eating competence, stress and health evaluation. There were no changes in reported dietary restraint, emotional eating, uncontrolled eating, or eating concern.

The NMD program was particularly beneficial for improving body image and shape concern but did not improve other disordered eating psychopathology. Addressing these body image factors may help to address some of the perpetuating factors of obesity and disordered eating, which are often not addressed in traditional diet based weight loss interventions.

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

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Correspondence to Lisa Bloom.

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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.

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Bloom, L., Brennan, L., Shelton, B. et al. Psychosocial outcomes of a non-dieting based positive body image community program for overweight adults: a pilot study. J Eat Disord 1 (Suppl 1), O55 (2013).

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