Systematic Review| Volume 47, ISSUE 2, P143-155.e1, March 2015

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Impact of Non-Diet Approaches on Attitudes, Behaviors, and Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review



      To determine the overall effect of non-diet, weight-neutral interventions on factors such as weight, biochemical measures, food and activity behavior, body image, and mental health.


      Systematic review of intervention literature.


      Group classes in community and worksite settings (14 studies), and individual counseling (1) and online education (1) in college settings.


      Eighteen research articles (representing 16 studies) evaluating non-diet interventions using quasi-experimental and randomized study designs with either a comparison or control group.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Anthropometric, physiological, psychological, and dietary intake.


      Systematic search of 168 articles and review of 18 articles meeting inclusionary criteria.


      Non-diet interventions resulted in statistically significant improvements in disordered eating patterns, self-esteem, and depression. None of the interventions resulted in significant weight gain or worsening of blood pressure, blood glucose, or cholesterol, and in 2 studies biochemical measures improved significantly compared with the control or diet group. Primary limitations were inconsistent definitions of non-diet approaches and the use of different assessment instruments for measuring outcomes.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Because of the long-term ineffectiveness of weight-focused interventions, the psychological improvements seen in weight-neutral, non-diet interventions warrant further investigation.

      Key Words

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