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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Extending the evidence base for eating disorders prevention: the impact of a dissonance-based intervention on positive body image, intuitive eating and self-objectification

  • 1Email author,
  • 1 and
  • 1
Journal of Eating Disorders20142 (Suppl 1) :O38

  • Published:


  • Life Satisfaction
  • Eating Disorder
  • Eating Disorder
  • Body Dissatisfaction
  • Body Shame

Recently, there have been significant advances in eating disorders (ED) prevention. Cognitive dissonance programs have demonstrated reductions in ED risk factors outlined in the dual pathway model (Stice, 1994) among university-age women in the USA and the UK. However, self-objectification theory proposes additional empirically supported risk-factors for EDs. In addition, body image research has recently expanded its focus to consider the promotion of positive body image. The present study examines the impact of a dissonance-based intervention on self-objectification, positive body image, and intuitive eating. Sixty-nine British women (M=19.06 years) took part in the intervention as part of their undergraduate psychology coursework. A separate sample of 47 undergraduate women formed a non-randomized control group. Baseline measures typically used to evaluate the intervention were administered alongside measures of self-objectification, positive body image, intuitive eating and life satisfaction pre- and immediate post- intervention, and at 8-week follow-up. As hypothesised, the intervention led to significant improvements relative to the control group in body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, surveillance, body shame, body appreciation and intuitive eating at post-intervention and 8 week follow-up. It also improved life satisfaction at post-intervention only. The results suggest that dissonance-based interventions have benefits beyond risk factors identified in the dual-pathway model.

This abstract was presented in the Prevention & Public Health stream of the 2014 ANZAED Conference.

Authors’ Affiliations

Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom


© Diedrichs et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

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. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.