Motivational interviewing in childhood obesity treatment

Maria Borrello, Giada Pietrabissa, Martina Ceccarini, Gian M. Manzoni, Gianluca Castelnuovo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obesity is one of today's most diffused and severe public health problems worldwide. It affects both adults and children with critical physical, social, and psychological consequences. The aim of this review is to appraise the studies that investigated the effects of motivational interviewing techniques in treating overweight and obese children. The electronic databases PubMed and PsychINFO were searched for articles meeting inclusion criteria. The review included studies based on the application of motivational interviewing (MI) components and having the objective of changing body mass index (BMI) in overweight or obese children from age 2 to age 11. Six articles have been selected and included in this review. Three studies reported that MI had a statistically significant positive effect on BMI and on secondary obesity-related behavior outcomes. MI can be applicable in the treatment of overweight and obese children, but its efficacy cannot be proved given the lack of studies carried out on this specific sample.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1732
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberNOV
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Childhood
  • Children
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Pediatric obesity
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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