European Associations Review Dietary Therapies for Obesity



According to its authors, this document mainly responds to the need to confront a problem with "epidemic overtones" that continues to grow across Europe. The prevalence of obesity in adults in the European Union is 23% (2021 data), obesity and overweight together have a prevalence of 60%, and forecasts for 2025 suggest that one in four European adults will live with obesity.

Likewise, as pointed out in the text, European economic studies show that obesity and its complications account for approximately 8% of annual national healthcare budgets.

The document is based on a systematic review of 56 clinical trials and meta-analyses that were published between November 2018 and March 2021. The investigators sought to identify the latest evidence on the different types of medical nutrition therapy available to European obesity specialists.

The results of this analysis demonstrate that while options involving calorie restriction are effective in promoting weight loss, adherence to long-term behavior changes may be better supported through interventions based on eating habits, food quality, and full attention during mealtimes (that is, mindfulness). 

The review also confirms that the Mediterranean diet, vegetarian diets, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, the Nordic diet, and low-carbohydrate diets are associated with improved metabolic health, with or without changes in body weight.