Integrating eating disorder and weight gain prevention: a pilot and feasibility trial of INSPIRE

  • Courtney C. SimpsonEmail author
  • C. Blair Burnette
  • Suzanne E. Mazzeo
Original Article



The current study adapted evidence-based prevention programs to promote positive health behaviors among racially and ethnically diverse young adult women. Two successful programs (The Body Project and the Healthy Weight Intervention) were integrated to evaluate their feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy in reducing risk for both eating pathology and weight gain. Intervention features extended the previous prevention efforts by emphasizing broad appearance ideals to enhance relevancy for women of color and incorporating distress tolerance and emotion regulation skills training.


Individuals were excluded if they met criteria for an eating disorder diagnosis and/or obesity, as this was a prevention project. 27 young adult women participated (M age = 18.59; SD = 1.01). The following racial/ethnic groups were represented: 48.1% White, 25.9% Asian, 22.2% Black, and 3.7% Latina. After each meeting, participants completed satisfaction measures and therapists assessed intervention feasibility. Participants also completed comprehensive questionnaires at pretest (baseline), posttest (8 weeks), and 4-week follow-up.


Descriptive statistics and content analyses of open-ended questions indicated that the intervention was both acceptable and feasible. Hierarchical linear models evaluating within-subject change over time indicated reductions in several risk factors that were sustained at follow-up: eating pathology, appearance dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, restrained eating, negative affect, emotion dysregulation, and fat intake. BMI did not change from pretest to posttest; however, BMI increased from posttest to follow-up (mean weight increase = 0.34 kg).


Results suggest that a prevention program designed to be more culturally sensitive is feasible and acceptable. Findings provide preliminary support for reducing the risk of eating pathology and promoting positive health behaviors.

Level of evidence

Time series with intervention, Level IV.

Trial registration ID: NCT03317587.


Prevention Eating disorders Weight gain Body image Diversity 



The authors would like to offer sincere thanks to the individuals who contributed to the implementation of this study, including Melissa Kwitowski, Rachel Boutté, Alex Davies, Neha Goel, and Ashley MacPherson.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Human and animal rights statement

All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the host institutional.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Psychology and PediatricsVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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