Feasibility and acceptability of a prevention program for eating disorders (Me, You and Us) adapted for young adolescents in Korea

  • Gi Young Lee
  • Eun Jin Park
  • Youl-Ri KimEmail author
  • Kyung Hwa Kwag
  • Jin Hong Park
  • So Hyun An
  • Ji Hyun Lee
  • Jeong Hun Sim
  • Janet Treasure
Original Article



The aim of this study was to assess the adaptability and acceptability of a prevention program.


A total of 169 Korean students (83 boys and 86 girls) with a mean age of 12.3 years from a 6th grade class at an elementary school participated in the study. Mental health social workers delivered Me, You and Us, a school-based body image intervention program originally developed in the UK, through a set of six sessions. The participants were assessed in terms of their body satisfaction and self-esteem before the program, after the program, and at 1-month follow-up. They were also surveyed about their satisfaction and acceptability levels after the program.


At baseline, girls had lower body satisfaction and self-esteem than boys, and their body satisfaction and self-esteem improved after the program. The improved body satisfaction was maintained at the 1-month follow-up. The efficacy of the program on body satisfaction was positively correlated with the frequency of their baseline level of “fat talk.” The program was more effective in girls with possible symptoms of an eating disorder at baseline. 93.7% of boys and 77.4% of girls responded that they enjoyed the program.


The program Me, You and Us was well-accepted by early adolescents in Korea and it can play a role in increasing body satisfaction and self-esteem by reducing “fat talk” in 6th grade students.

Level of evidence

Level III, cohort study with intervention.


Eating disorders Prevention Adolescents Me, You and Us Fat talk Korea 



We thank Dr. Helen Sharpe for offering the materials of Me, You and Us.

Compliance with ethical standards

Funding sources

Financial support for this study was provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) with a Grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (Grant #. NRF-2014S1A5B8063466). The funding sources had no involvement in the study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical measure.

Informed consent

Informed consents were received from a parent or a guardian for each of the participants.

Supplementary material

40519_2017_436_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (33 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 32 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Eating Disorders and Mental HealthInje UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Ilsan Paik HospitalInje UniversityGoyangRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Goyang Child and Adolescent Community Mental Health CenterGoyangRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul Paik HospitalInje UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Institute of Human, Environment and FutureInje UniversityKimhaeRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Department of Neuroscience, Scripps Graduate ProgramThe Scripps Research InstituteJupiterUSA
  7. 7.Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King’s College LondonInstitute of PsychiatryLondonUK

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