Disordered Eating Behavior
The results of the Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) intervention showed a few significant effects. Elliot and colleagues (2004) found that female athletes who had participated in ATHENA self-reported significantly less use of diet pills in the previous 3 months. Although there were no significant differences between the ATHENA intervention group and the control group on questions asking if participants had vomited to lose weight or on use of athletic-enhancing substances (such as creatine), there were significantly more new users of muscle-building supplements in the control group.
There were significant differences on measures of intentions toward future disordered eating behaviors and drug use. The ATHENA intervention group reported that they were significantly less likely in the future to use diet pills, to vomit to lose weight, and to use athletic-enhancing substances such as creatine.
Although both the ATHENA intervention group and the control group reported reductions in smoking cigarettes in the previous 3 months, overall there were no significant differences between the groups on tobacco use. In regard to measures of intentions toward future drug use, the ATHENA intervention group did report that they were significantly less likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.
Disordered Eating Behavior
Overall, Elliot and colleagues (2008) studying Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) found that graduates’ self-reported use of diet pills, diuretics, laxatives, and self-induced vomiting from both the intervention and control groups became less prevalent over time, with fewer than 10 percent of all graduates indicating those behaviors in the past 3 months. There were no significant differences between the self-reported behaviors of the groups.
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Illicit Drug Use
Graduates who had participated in the ATHENA intervention self-reported significantly less alcohol use in the past 3 months, compared with control group graduates (27 percent, versus 41 percent). ATHENA graduates also self-reported significantly less alcohol use in the past year (25 percent, versus 35 percent).
Although the prevalence of tobacco use was low overall for all graduates, ATHENA graduates self-reported significantly less regular ongoing tobacco use in their lifetime (9 percent, versus 16 percent). However, there was no significant difference between the groups on self-reported tobacco use in the past year.
ATHENA intervention graduates self-reported significantly less regular marijuana use, compared with graduates in the control group. Graduates in the ATHENA group self-reported less regular marijuana use in the past year (2 percent, versus 7 percent) and in their lifetime (5 percent, versus 13 percent).
Self-reported use of other substances (such as club drugs, ecstasy, GHC, or LSD) was low (fewer than 5 percent of all graduates reported any use in the past year). There were no significant differences between the groups on self-reported use of these substances.