Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Hargate, Carol


Background: With implementation of healthy weight education programs throughout schools, questions have been raised whether a preoccupation with obesity prevention contributes to an increase in the incidence of eating disorders. The purpose of this critical review of research is to compare obesity prevention programs and eating disorder prevention programs and possible unintended negative effects on adolescents with weight-related conditions. Theoretical Framework: Neuman Systems Model and Erickson’s Psychosocial Development were used. While Neuman theorizes a human being is a total person characterized by physiological, psychological, sociocultural, spiritual, and developmental factors, Erickson focuses on identity versus role confusion at the adolescent age. Methods: This literature review was conducted to include studies surrounding eating disorders and obesity among youth and adolescents utilizing the CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO databases. Results: Broadening the scope of focus to address the full spectrum of weight-related problems can guide the development of interventions that simultaneously address unhealthy weight-control behaviors. Conclusion: There is a need for healthcare professionals to be acutely aware of eating behaviors within the adolescent age group. Recognizing risk factors for weight-related disorders is an essential component to prevent and predict risky behavior. Educational programs/tools to measure eating disorders and weight-related behaviors offers benefit to explore behaviors of preoccupation with body image and dietary restrictions. Implications for Research and Practice: Relationships between body shame and low self-esteem leading to negative weight-related behaviors have been identified. Additional research is needed to examine the relationship between weight-related behaviors and negative body image.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons