A meta-analysis of 64 studies indicates that interventions for paediatric obesity increase self-esteem and body image in the short and medium term.
The unprecedented global level of obesity in children and adolescents raises the risk of obesity-related psychosocial, metabolic and physical complications unless lifestyles are changed.
This meta-analysis reviewed studies that recruited children and adolescents seeking treatment for obesity, with at least one measure of self-esteem or body image. Validated tools were used at baseline and either post-intervention or follow-up.
Intervention methods were delivered commercially, in the hospital outpatient setting, residential camps, and others. Interventions included nutrition education, energy targets, physical activities. Behaviour modification strategies focused on goal setting, problem-solving, mindful eating, managing bullying, parent role modelling, and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Meta-analysis of 49 studies (n=10,471) revealed that interventions resulted in increased self-esteem (standardised mean difference [SMD] 0.34; P<.001 i>2 87%), which was maintained at follow-up (SMD 0.35; P<.001>2 79%; 17 studies). Meta-analysis of 40 studies (n=2,729) indicated improvements in body image post intervention (SMD 0.40; P<.001>2 73%), which was maintained at follow-up (SMD 0.41; P<.001>2 89%; 16 studies).