Weight loss treatment and psychological well-being: a review and meta-analysis

J Health Psychol. 2007 Jan;12(1):66-82. doi: 10.1177/1359105307071741.


Research suggests that weight loss treatment generally benefits psychological well-being but these effects have never been quantitatively reviewed. A meta-analysis of 117 weight loss treatment tests showed that weight loss treatment was associated with lowered depression and increased self-esteem. Treatment type moderated treatment effects on depression and self-esteem. Actual weight loss moderated treatment effects on self-esteem but not depression; only treatments that produced actual weight loss predicted increased self-esteem whereas improvements in depression were independent of weight loss. The clinical implications of the findings and the possible causal relationships among weight, depression and self-esteem are discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Self Concept
  • United States
  • Weight Loss*