Emotional Eating Interventions for Adults Living with Overweight or Obesity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Jo Smith, Xiao Qi Ang, Emma Giles, Gemma Traviss-Turner

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Abstract

Background: Emotional eating (EE) may be defined as a tendency to eat in response to negative emotions and energy-dense and palatable foods, and is common amongst adults with overweight or obesity. There is limited evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions that address EE. Objectives: To synthesize evidence on the effectiveness of EE interventions for weight loss and EE in adults living with overweight or obesity. Methods: This is a systematic review and meta-analysis. Adhering to the PRISMA guidance, a comprehensive electronic search was completed up to February 2022. Random effects meta-analysis was carried out to determine the percentage change in weight and EE scores. Results: Thirty-four studies were included. The combined effect size for percentage weight change was −1.08% (95% CI: −1.66 to −0.49, I2 = 64.65%, n = 37), once adjusted for publication bias. Similarly, the combined effect size for percentage change in EE was −2.37%, (95% CI: −3.76 to −0.99, I2 = 87.77%, n = 46). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy showed the most promise for reducing weight and improving EE. Conclusions: Interventions to address EE showed promise in reducing EE and promoted a small amount of weight loss in adults living with overweight or obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2722
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No funding was received for this project, as it was undertaken as a dissertation for the M.Sc. Dietetics programme at Teesside University by X.Q.A.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

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