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Online Therapy May Prevent Eating Disorders in High-Risk Groups of Women

A study published in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry found that the risk of the onset of eating disorders decreased among women who participated in an eight-week internet-based program. The authors recruited 421 college-age women at risk of developing eating disorders to take part in the study. The 206 women in the intervention group logged on each week to participate in several activities, including writing entries in a body image journal, attending an online discussion group, and reading information about healthy weight regulation and body image.

The control group participants received no treatment during the study, but were offered the online therapy after follow-up.The authors say that annual follow-up assessments for up to three years indicated that the online program led to sustained reductions in weight and shape concerns, which are a primary risk factor for developing eating disorders.

The conclusion was stated that among college-age women with high weight and shape concerns, an 8-week, Internet-based cognitive-behavioral intervention can significantly reduce weight and shape concerns for up to 2 years and decrease risk for the onset of EDs, at least in some high-risk groups.


Title: Prevention of Eating Disorders in At-Risk College-Age Women, Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63:881-888.

Authors: C. Barr Taylor, MD; Susan Bryson, MA, MS; Kristine H. Luce, PhD; Darby Cunning, MA; Angela Celio Doyle, PhD; Liana B. Abascal, MA; Roxanne Rockwell; Pavarti Dev, PhD; Andrew J. Winzelberg, PhD; Denise E. Wilfley, PhD

For more details on this article go to: Prevention of Eating Disorders in At-Risk College-Age Women


If you are going through a tough time, e-mail counseling can be one resource to help you cope. Online counseling is available on this site via e-mail with Patricia Roles who is a registered social worker with over 30 years counseling experience in with eating disorders. This is an alternate way to get professional help and support over the internet without leaving your own home. It is less expensive than face-to-face counseling.

Face-to-face counseling is also available for individuals, couples and families living locally in Vancouver, BC. 

Contact number: 604-375-9215

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