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Overweight Prevention Program May Reduce Eating Disorders Among Adolescent Girls

Posted by Nirmala N.

A new overweight and obesity prevention program called 5-2-1-Go! may actually help to regulate and prevent eating disorders among adolescent girls, strangely enough. Harvard School of Public Health researchers studied the program's effects on both middle-school girls and boys. Eating disorders among adolescents often lead to hazardous measures to control weight--such as self-induced vomiting or the abuse of diet pills and laxatives, or just not eating at all (anorexia). Other studies have shown that the middle school years are a critical time, because this is when many girls start to engage in dangerous weight-control behaviors. Researchers found that 4% of middle-school girls with only a regular health education started to vomit or abuse diet pills, while only 1% of girls in 5-2-1-Go! did so. The programemphasizes eating a balanced diet, staying physically active, and reducing TV watching time.The study took place in 13 Massachusetts middle schools.

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