Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: The Impact of Multicomponent Weight Management Interventions on Self-Esteem in Overweight and Obese Adolescents

J Pediatr Psychol. 2017 May 1;42(4):379-394. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsw101.


Objective: Building self-esteem in overweight adolescents is key to long-term weight management; yet, self-esteem is rarely a key outcome of adolescent weight management interventions. This systematic review investigates the impact of multicomponent weight management interventions on self-esteem in overweight and obese adolescents.

Method: Six databases were searched in December 2014. Eligible studies met the following criteria: (1) randomized controlled trial, (2) overweight or obese participants, (3) adolescents (10-19 years), (4) multicomponent weight management intervention, (5) reported self-esteem and weight changes.

Results: Thirteen studies with 1,157 overweight or obese adolescents, aged 10-19 years, were included. Meta-analyses showed no significant change in self-esteem (0.27 [-0.04, 0.59]), but body mass index z -score reduced following intervention (-0.17 [-0.22, -0.11]).

Conclusion: The lack of change in self-esteem suggests weight loss alone is insufficient to improve self-esteem. Multicomponent weight management interventions require a specific focus on self-esteem to improve this outcome in overweight and obese adolescents.

Keywords: adolescent; at-risk youth; health promotion and prevention; meta-analysis; obesity; systematic review; weight management.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Self Concept*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Reduction Programs*