Are psychological interventions effective for weight loss?
From: The Cochrane Collaboration
- Shaw, K.A., O’Rourke, P., Del Mar, C., Kenardy, J., 2005. Psychological interventions for overweight or obesity, in: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- 36 studies including 3,495 participants
- The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
- This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped together to form an overall outcome.
- Behaviour therapy resulted in a greater weight loss than a placebo (average loss 2.5 kg). When behaviour therapy was combined with a diet / exercise approach and compared with diet / exercise alone, the combined intervention resulted in a greater weight reduction.
- In all studies, participants in the behavioural intervention lost more weight than no treatment controls.
- Cognitive therapy was not effective as a weight loss treatment compared to behaviour therapy. However, when combined with a diet / exercise intervention, it was found to increase weight loss compared with diet / exercise alone (average loss 4.9 kg).
- There was not enough evidence to reach a conclusion about other psychological forms of therapy, such as relaxation therapy and hypnotherapy.
- Yes (with confidence) – for behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy.