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Integrated prevention of obesity and eating disorders: barriers, developments and opportunities

  • David Sánchez-Carracedo (a1), Dianne Neumark-Sztainer (a2) and Gemma López-Guimerà (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980012000705
  • Published online: 28 March 2012
Abstract
AbstractObjective

The serious consequences of obesity and eating disorders (ED), difficulties encountered in treatment and the high prevalence of these conditions are important reasons to develop efforts aimed at their prevention. The implementation of integrated interventions aimed at preventing risk factors for both obesity and ED constitutes a very exciting development. In the present paper we discuss and review the main reasons for an integrated approach to the spectrum of eating- and weight-related problems, which include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, anorexic and bulimic behaviours, unhealthy dieting practices, body dissatisfaction, binge-eating disorder, overweight and obesity. Given differences between the fields with regard to current perspectives and objectives, key barriers to an integrated approach to prevention are discussed. In order to show the possibilities of development of this approach, we review the main contributions made to date in the fields of both obesity and ED prevention. In particular, environmental approaches in the prevention of obesity and ED are reviewed, given their potential for preventing a broad spectrum of eating- and weight-related problems. Furthermore, several examples of initiatives that have utilized an integrated approach to prevention are discussed.

Design

Narrative review.

Conclusions

We recommend a scenario in which the two fields share knowledge to enhance the difficult work of preventing and treating both ED and obesity.

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*Corresponding author: Email David.Sanchez@uab.es
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