Background: To explore the impact of a prevention program on the eating and body attitudes of a sample of adolescent schoolgirls. Methods: The program involved lessons and group discussions of general adolescent problems and eating disorders. A total of 254 16-year-old schoolgirls were evaluated, of whom 154 participated in the program and a further 154 subjects formed the control group. Variations in weight, Eating Attitudes Test and Eating Disorders Inventory at a 1-year follow-up were compared for the two groups. Results: Among high-risk subjects, no significant differences were found between the prevention and the control group. The preventive program appeared to reduce significantly body dissatisfaction and to decrease the risk of bulimic attitudes in low-risk subjects. Conclusions: Providing schoolgirls with the correct information about eating disorders did not encourage unhealthy attitudes to eating and weight regulation practices. However, for high-risk subjects more intensive and specific intervention may be required, for which further research is needed.

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