Research on Eating and Adolescent Lifestyles (REAL 2.0): A 15-year follow-up study of early predictors of eating disorders and other mental health struggles in young adulthood



PI: Dr. Nicole Obeid

Study contact: [email protected]

Study contact full name: Lori Watanabe and Madeline Gertler

Research Area: Mental Health – Eating Disorders

Who to contact regarding participation: [email protected]

Lay Summary:

The Research on Eating and Adolescent Lifestyles (REAL) study (2004-2013) examined biological, environmental, and individual factors that contribute to body image, body weight, and eating behaviors, in adolescents (3,043) from grades 7-12 in Ottawa. A few key findings from REAL include:

  • 29% of youth reported weight-based teasing from peers; 21% reported weight-based teasing from family members. This kind of teasing has been linked to poorer body image 2 years later
  • Having regular family meals is protective against disordered eating, especially in adolescent females

We are currently reaching out to REAL participants to complete another online survey (REAL 2.0) where we ask questions related to eating, weight, mental health, addictions, and quality of life.

The goals of REAL 2.0 is to determine the extent to which eating, body and weight-related concerns in adolescence, may be associated with eating disorders, obesity, mental health problems and/or substance use in young adulthood to help establish prevention and early intervention efforts.

We are offering a $50 gift card for your participation from: Amazon, Shoppers Drug Mart, or Walmart. If you previously participated in the REAL study and are interested in being a part of this follow-up study, please contact us at [email protected].