Weight management interventions that include dietary components for young people with chronic health care needs: A systematic review

Natassja Billich*, Isabella Maugeri, Lara Calligaro, Helen Truby, Zoe E. Davidson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: To identify and describe weight management interventions that include a dietary component for young people with chronic healthcare needs and overweight or obesity and their effect on body mass index (BMI) or weight. 

Methods: Six databases were searched in 2017 and 2020 for experimental studies in English: Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid AMED, EBSCO CINAHL, Scopus and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Database of Systematic Reviews. Two independent reviewers conducted data extraction and quality assessment using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Eligible studies included young people with chronic healthcare needs ≤18 years with overweight or obesity with an intervention that included a dietary component. Eligible outcomes were BMI or weight. Data were synthesised narratively. Results: The search identified 15 293 references, 12 studies were included (randomised controlled trials n = 5, before-after comparisons n = 7). Participant diagnoses were neurodevelopmental disabilities (n = 5) and mental illness (n = 1); survivors of cancers or tumours (n = 4); congenital heart disease (n = 1) and; migraine (n = 1). No studies addressed weight management in physical disabilities. Eight studies demonstrated a significant reduction in BMI or weight. Of these, most interventions used dietary counselling or an energy deficit, were family-focused, multicomponent and delivered by a multidisciplinary team including dietitians. A high risk of bias was detected across studies. 

Conclusions: There is limited high-quality evidence about effective dietary solutions for the management of overweight and obesity for young people with chronic healthcare needs. While more research is required, dietary management appears to be important to manage weight in these populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-109
Number of pages16
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

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