Abstract In an attempt to find an optimum age during adolescence to target weight control programs successfully, 189 adolescents were surveyed using measures of eating self-efficacy and body-weight attributions. The sensitivity of the attribution measures was assessed in a pilot study using 100 adolescents. The major experiment indicated higher levels of eating control at 12 and 13 years of age, decreasing with age. However, the locus of control measure indicated an increase in internal attributions with age. It is argued that this paradox between degree of control subjects reported over their eating and the degree subjects believed their body weight to be controlled internally may have important clinical implications and should be investigated further.