WH&Y authors: Professor Louise Baur

Citation: Jebeile H, Gow ML, Baur LA, Garnett SP, Paxton SP, Lister NB. Treatment of obesity, with a dietary component, and eating disorder risk in children and adolescents: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews 2019; 20:1287-1298. 



This review aimed to investigate the impact of obesity treatment, with a dietary component, on eating disorder (ED) prevalence, ED risk, and related symptoms in children and adolescents with overweight or obesity. Four databases were searched to identify pediatric obesity treatment interventions, with a dietary component, and validated pre‐post intervention assessment of related outcomes. Of 3078 articles screened, 36 met inclusion criteria, with a combined sample of 2589 participants aged 7.8 to 16.9 years. Intervention duration ranged from 1 week to 13 months, with follow‐up of 6 months to 6 years from baseline. Prevalence of ED was reported in five studies and was reduced post‐intervention. Meta‐analyses showed a reduction in bulimic symptoms (eight studies, standardized mean difference [SE], −0.326 [0.09], P < 0.001), emotional eating (six studies, −0.149 [0.06], P = 0.008), binge eating (three studies, −0.588 [0.10], P < 0.001), and drive for thinness (three studies, −0.167 [0.06], P = 0.005) post‐intervention. At follow‐up, a reduction in ED risk (six studies, −0.313 [0.13], P = 0.012), emotional eating (five studies, −0.259 [0.05], P < 0.001), eating concern (three studies, −0.501 [0.06], P < 0.001), and drive for thinness (two studies, −0.375 [0.07], P < 0.001) was found. Structured and professionally run obesity treatment was associated with reduced ED prevalence, ED risk, and symptoms.

About The Authors


Louise Baur is Professor and Head of Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Sydney and Hea...