Outcomes of intuitive eating interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eat Disord. 2023 Jan-Feb;31(1):33-63. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2022.2030124. Epub 2022 Apr 9.


Intuitive eating (IE) is an approach to health promotion that fosters a positive relationship with food and the body. The objective of this review was to aggregate and analyse the literature on IE interventions, thereby offering an early investigation of methodological approaches to intervention. This review was conducted in accordance with the preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA) guidelines. Searching was conducted in four electronic databases. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they delivered an IE intervention and used the Intuitive Eating Scale (IES). Nine studies were included in this review. Six were eligible for meta-analysis, though only outcomes on the IES were examined; all other measures were examined individually. All interventions led to improvements on measures of IE, with a large pooled effect size (1.50 [1.15, 1.85]) and positive changes on a variety of other outcomes relating to health. This pattern preliminarily suggests that IE interventions change psychological processes as intended and can be useful in promoting health behaviour. The present review offers a synthesis of existing approaches to IE interventions and an evaluation of which specific variants appear to be more effective. This paper provides a basis upon which future interventions can be developed to improve approaches to psychoeducation.Clinical ImplicationsInterventions contributed to improvements in measures of IE lasting up to 6 months.Interventions contributed to positive changes on outcomes such as quality of life, body image, and body appreciation.Self-management through IE-based interventions may be feasible and effective.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*