A systematic review of controlled interventions to reduce overweight and obesity in people with schizophrenia

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2014 Oct;130(4):279-89. doi: 10.1111/acps.12245. Epub 2014 Jan 17.


Objective: Overweight and obesity are generally found among patients with schizophrenia. This may lead to serious implications for health and wellbeing. The aim was to review controlled intervention studies on reducing overweight/obesity and/or reducing physical illness in patients with schizophrenia.

Method: A systematic literature search was carried out in the bibliographic databases PubMed (MEDLINE), Embase (Ovid), PsycInfo (Ovid) and Cinahl (Ebsco). We included all randomised and non-randomised clinically controlled studies that compared a non-pharmacological intervention, aimed at weight reduction and/or reducing physical illness, with standard care for patients with schizophrenia.

Results: All 1713 references were evaluated for inclusion in the review. Twenty-three met the inclusion criteria and were categorised into four subgroups according to tested interventions: diet, exercise and cognitive behavioural therapy, or mixed combinations of the three. In this review, interventions showed efficacy in reducing weight and improving physical health parameters confirming that physical health improvement was possible in patients with schizophrenia.

Conclusion: The included studies indicate that the interventions reduced weight and improved physical health parameters in patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords: behavioural therapy; body weight changes; diet; exercise; schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods*
  • Diet Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Schizophrenia*