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

Lisa Bloom, Beth Shelton, Melissa Bengough, Leah Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The limited success of traditional diet focused obesity interventions has led to the development of alternative non-dieting approaches. The current study evaluated the impact of a community based non-dieting positive body image program for overweight/obese people on a range of psychosocial outcomes. The characteristics of this real-world sample presenting for a non-dieting weight management intervention are also described.Method: Overweight and obese participants enrolled in the eight week 'No More Diets' (NMD) group program completed self-report questionnaires assessing disordered eating thoughts and behaviours, body image, motivation for exercise and psychopathology pre- and post-treatment.Results: Participants (n = 17; 16 female) were aged between 19 and 78 years, with a BMI ranging from 25.2 kg/m2 (Overweight) to 55.9 kg/m2 (Severely Obese). They reported elevated levels of eating disorder pathology, body shape preoccupation, depression, anxiety and stress compared to community norms (p < .05). Following treatment there were significant improvements in reported body shape preoccupation, shape concern and eating attitudes (p < .05), and clinically significant changes (small to medium 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 and uncontrolled eating, or eating concern (p > .05).Conclusion: Individuals presenting for the NMD program demonstrated increased eating disorder pathology and more generalised psychopathology compared to community norms. The NMD program was particularly beneficial for body image and shape concern. 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 the traditional diet-based weight loss interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalJournal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Body image
  • Community
  • Disordered eating
  • Intervention
  • Non-dieting
  • Obesity

Cite this