The Effectiveness of Supportive Psychotherapy in Weight Loss in a Group of Young Overweight and Obese Women

Nutrients. 2021 Feb 6;13(2):532. doi: 10.3390/nu13020532.


Overweight and obesity are among the most widespread health problems worldwide. The primary cause of obesity is an inability to control overeating. Therefore, today, obesity needs to be treated more as an eating disorder, i.e., a mental disorder, and thus, it should be approached as such. Taking the above together, this study aimed to assess the impact of supportive psychotherapy on reducing body weight in young overweight and obese women who attempted slimming therapy and, additionally, the possibility of maintaining the weight-loss effect in the long term. Sixty young women aged 20-30 were randomized into three groups that differed in therapeutic management. With the help of an individually selected diet plan, the highest effectiveness in weight loss was demonstrated in people whose weight reduction was supported by goal-oriented psychotherapy. In this group, a sustained effect of slimming and even further weight loss were observed six months following the discontinuation of the therapy. In conclusion, traditional slimming therapies using an individual diet plan and a dietitian's care are effective; however, supportive psychotherapeutic work provides more beneficial results and maintains the change from a long-term perspective.

Keywords: obesity; psychotherapy; slimming; women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods*
  • Social Support
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods*
  • Young Adult