Viewpoints of adolescents with overweight and obesity attending lifestyle obesity treatment interventions: a qualitative systematic review

Helen Jones, Lena Al-Khudairy, G.J. Melendez-Torres, Oyinlola Oyebode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Current UK guidance recommends that adolescents with obesity attend a family‐based multi‐component obesity intervention. However, these programmes suffer from low recruitment and high rates of attrition. Understanding the views of adolescents is necessary for developing future interventions. The aim of this systematic review was to synthesize and explore the views of adolescents who have attended an obesity intervention.

Published literature was identified by searching six databases. Studies of adolescents (12–17 years) who attended an obesity intervention were examined. Only studies that collected and analysed data qualitatively were included. Full texts were analysed using thematic synthesis.

Twenty‐eight studies were included. Thirty‐five analytical themes were developed that were broadly divided into seven domains. Key themes included ensuring adolescents receive a ‘tailored intervention’ that involves ‘active engagement’. Support from professionals, family and peers were valued highly. Adolescents expressed ‘prior fears of attending interventions’ and wanted ‘longer term support’. ‘Enjoyment of sport and physical activity’ was evident, and adolescents were strongly motivated by improving body image and social desirability.

Considering the views of adolescents attending obesity interventions may help to inform policy makers in the development of future interventions. This may lead to an improvement in recruitment and attrition rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-169
Number of pages14
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date29 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019



  • adolescent
  • obese
  • qualitative systematic review
  • thematic synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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