Weight loss interventions for overweight and obese adolescents: a systematic review

  • Raquel de Melo BoffEmail author
  • Ronald Patrick Araujo Liboni
  • Igor Pacheco de Azevedo Batista
  • Lauren Heineck de Souza
  • Margareth da Silva Oliveira



To determine what factors contribute to the efficacy of non-drug treatments designed to promote weight loss in overweight and obese adolescents.


Data sources Medline/PubMed; Psychinfo; EMBASE; Web of Science (ISI); and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Study selection Randomized clinical trials of treatments for obesity and overweight in adolescents aged 10–19 years with a minimum duration of 2 months. Data extraction 115 of the 12,948 publications retrieved met eligibility criteria and 26 were included in the final sample. Period of extraction January 2004 to November 2014.


The Delphi list was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the studies (M = 5.58, SD = 1.027). There was considerable variability between the interventions, but they were all multifactorial, with components such as nutritional education, physical activity, family support and psychological therapy. The number of contacts with subjects during the course of the intervention was a predictor of treatment efficacy when the groups were compared. Limitations This systematic review was limited to trials reported in English and by the lack of methodological rigor and shortcomings in reporting in the studies reviewed.


Multidisciplinary interventions including family support and guided behavior modification appear to be effective methods of reducing BMI in overweight and obese adolescents.


Adolescents Controlled trial Overweight Obesity Treatment Systematic review 



Body mass index


Cognitive-behavioral therapy


Motivational intervention


Compliance with ethical standards

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not refer to any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Financial disclosure

the authors have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.

Funding source

This work was supported by Grants from the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development—CNPq (Process: 455106/2014-2).

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest relevant to this article to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel de Melo Boff
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald Patrick Araujo Liboni
    • 1
  • Igor Pacheco de Azevedo Batista
    • 1
  • Lauren Heineck de Souza
    • 2
  • Margareth da Silva Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.PUCRS, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.UNIVATESLajeadoBrazil

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