Intuitive Eating Intervention and Diet Quality in Adults: A Systematic Literature Review

Katie Hensley-Hackett, Josephine Bosker, Ashleigh Keefe, Dianne Reidlinger, Molly Warner, Anna D'Arcy, Jennifer Utter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Intuitive eating interventions aim to improve individual health and promote sustainable changes to one's relationship with food. However, there is no evidence-based consensus on the impact of intuitive eating interventions on diet quality. This systematic review aimed to investigate intuitive eating interventions and their impact on diet quality. 

Method: PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and Cochrane databases were systematically searched to October 2021 for studies reporting interventions that encompassed the principles of intuitive eating and measured diet quality. Other health outcomes were used for secondary analysis. Findings were synthesized narratively. 

Results: Seventeen papers reporting 14 intervention studies (n = 3,960) were included in the review. All studies found a positive or neutral effect on diet quality following an intuitive eating intervention. A favorable change in eating behavior following these interventions was also observed. 

Discussion: Intuitive eating promotes an attunement to the body, which aids in improving diet quality because of increased awareness of physiological cues. The reduction of emotional and binge eating may also increase diet quality. 

Implications for Research and Practice: Findings from the current review suggest that intuitive eating interventions are most effective face-to-face, in a group setting, and sustained for at least 3 months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1115
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number12
Early online date21 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022


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