Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2024

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Nutrition and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Melinda Valliant

Second Advisor

Ellen Ossorio

Third Advisor

Laura Prior

Relational Format



Body dissatisfaction is an emerging public health concern and carries significant health-related consequences. These implications encompass mental health challenges, eating disorders, unhealthy weight management practices, adverse effects on self-esteem, and potential physical health consequences. Because adolescence is a critical period for healthy body image development due to age-related transitions occurring at this time, it is essential to implement an education program to promote positive body image. Educational programs focused on protective factors designed to enhance self-compassion can potentially improve body image, eating attitudes, and body satisfaction. School-based body image education programs aim to provide adolescents with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to develop a positive self-image, counteract external pressures, and foster a healthy relationship with their bodies. The purpose of this research is to assess whether school-based education program positively impacts the body image of middle school students to counteract the negative influences that impact adolescents’ self-perception. Participants were recruited from a private school following a parental information session and distribution of consent forms, resulting in a sample of eight adolescents aged 12-14 years. The study utilized the Body Appreciation Scale-2 for children to assess positive body image development. The Functionality Appreciation Scale (FAS) measured participants' awareness of their body's capabilities and achievements. Prior to the initial lesson focusing on body functionality and self-perception, students completed a pre-survey. Subsequent lessons over four weeks centered on self-compassion, media literacy, and promoting positive body image. Following completion, students completed a post-survey to evaluate the impact. Qualitative data indicates that the program effectively promoted positive body image and equipped adolescents with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to resist societal appearance ideals and comparisons. Post-intervention assessments revealed increased body appreciation and satisfaction.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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