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Systematic Review|Articles in Press

Treating Binge Eating Disorder With Physical Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

      Abstract

      Objective

      This review aimed to collect evidence about the effectiveness of exercise programs for managing binge eating disorder (BED) (recurrent binge eating episodes).

      Methods

      Meta-analysis was developed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses protocol. Articles were searched in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library. Randomized controlled trials were eligible for inclusion if they reported the effect of an exercise-based program on BED symptoms in adults. Outcomes were changes in binge eating symptom severity, measured through validated assessment instruments, after an exercise-based intervention. Study results were pooled using the Bayesian model averaging for random and fixed effects meta-analysis.

      Results

      Of 2,757 studies, 5 trials were included, with 264 participants. The mean age was 44.7 ± 8.1 years for the intervention group and 46.6 ± 8.5 years for the control group. All participants were female. A significant improvement was observed between groups (standardized mean difference, 0.94; 95% credibility interval, −1.46 to −0.31). Patients obtained significant improvements either following supervised exercise programs or home-based exercise prescriptions.

      Implications for Research and Practice

      These findings suggest that physical exercise, within a multidisciplinary clinical and psychotherapeutic approach, may be an effective intervention for managing BED symptoms. Further comparative studies are needed to clarify which exercise modality is associated with greater clinical benefits.

      Key Words

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