The Body Project is a dissonance-based body-acceptance intervention designed to help high school and college-age women resist sociocultural pressures to conform to the thin-ideal (aka: “appearance-ideal”; terms are interchangeable in the context of this intervention) and reduce their pursuit of thinness.  A decrease in thin-ideal internalization should result in improved body satisfaction and improved mood, reduced use of unhealthy weight-control behaviors, and decreased binge eating and other eating disorder symptoms.

Randomized prevention trials completed by 8 labs have found the Body Project reduces thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, negative mood, unhealthy dieting, and eating disorder symptoms. This intervention has also been found to reduce risk for future onset of threshold and subthreshold eating disorders. Efficacy trials have found that the Body Project produces greater reductions in eating disorder risk factors (e.g., thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, negative affect), eating disorder symptoms, functional impairment, and future onset of eating disorders over a 3-year follow-up than assessment-only or alternative intervention control conditions (e.g., Stice et al., 2000; Stice, Shaw, Burton, & Wade, 2006; Stice, Marti, Spoor, Presnell, & Shaw, 2008).

As part of our prevention work, Project HEAL Chapters and Ambassadors are able to raise funds to bring this program to their local community, including the required in-person training for facilitators. Facilitation of the Body Project consists of 4 weekly one hour sessions.

For more information on the Body Project, please contact Ali Hougnou, Project HEAL’s Director of Volunteer Services.