Effects of disordered eating behaviors and sedentary lifestyle prevention program in male and female Mexican adolescents

Teresita de Jesús Saucedo-Molina, Frida Josselyn Canales Ramírez, Orquidea Galdina Arellano-Pérez

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2022.039


Introduction. Adolescents are the group with the highest risk of developing disordered eating behaviors (DEB). Preventing this problem is of the utmost importance due to the physical and psychological consequences.

Objective. To evaluate the effects of a universal prevention program for disordered eating behaviors (DEB), thin ideal internalization (TII), drive for muscularity (DM), and sedentary lifestyle among Mexican adolescents.

Method. A quasi-experimental study with repeated measures (pre-test, post-test, six-month, and one-year follow-up) was carried out in a non-probabilistic sample of 523 adolescents (46.7% of females) aged 15-19 years (Mage = 16.07). We worked in two private high schools, one of them was designed as control group (CG), and the other as intervention group (IG). For both, female and male adolescents’, data were collected using the Brief Questionnaire for Disordered Eating Behaviors (BQDEB) and the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). To evaluate TII the Attitudes toward Body Figure Questionnaire was applied in females, while in males Drive for Muscularity Scale (DMS) was used.

Results. After one-year, repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) revealed a significant reduction of the mean DEBs scores both in female (p = .01) and male (p = .03) adolescents of the IG with respect to CG. In IG, females decreased significantly the mean TII score as well as the mean DM score in males. Physical Activity increased in IG females from pre-test to posttest; however, the effect was not maintained over time.

Discussion and conclusion. These findings have important implications for future interventions with Mexican adolescents. We must take sex differences into account to choose activities and strategies that will enhance the effects of the program.


Disordered eating behaviors; thin ideal internalization; drive for muscularity; sedentary lifestyle; Mexican adolescents

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