For people diagnosed as overweight, obese or having a binge eating disorder, are psychological interventions more effective than standard weight loss interventions (including primary care), in improving patient outcomes?
Evidence from three systematic reviews and two trials showed
mixed results regarding the effectiveness of psychological
interventions for overweight, obese or binge-eating people. There
was moderate evidence that motivational interviewing can improve
weight loss, but a trial of group CBT plus standard care compared
to standard care alone found no benefit for group CBT in terms of
achieving weight loss targets.
For reducing binge or emotional eating there was a small
amount of evidence supporting mindfulness-based interventions, and
a larger amount of evidence supporting psychotherapy, structured
self-help and pharmacotherapy although this came from a less
These findings are in line with the NICE and Scottish
guidelines and do provide some support for psychological
interventions in reducing weight loss and binge eating.
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To view national guidelines, click Related Links below.