Pediatric motivational interviewing to address obesity and overweight

Vy Do, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Not only are obesity and overweight associated with a myriad of medical and psychological concerns in childhood, but these health problems can persist even into adulthood. With the obvious need for better approaches in tackling childhood obesity and overweight and the strong evidence of motivational interviewing's effectiveness in the adult population, it is likely that an updated review will provide a more complete picture of the application of motivational interviewing in the pediatric population. The objective of this review is whether or not motivational interviewing will be instrumental in promoting factors that help in reducing the number of children who are or become overweight or obese. A literature search was completed that identified ten studies that incorporated MI as an intervention. Studies focused on either behavior health changes like increased physical activity, improved nutrition, or reducing parameters of weight like BMI or body composition. Three out of the 10 articles were still in progress and no results were provided. Five studies were able to achieve statistical significance in health benefits to control childhood overweight and obesity. Results revealed the overall feasibility of applying MI in the pediatric overweight and obese population, but the scarce number of studies limits conclusions about its efficacy. Therefore, additional scientific evidence is necessary to fully understand MI's role in affecting behavior changes in this population.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Do, Vy, "Pediatric motivational interviewing to address obesity and overweight" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1497515.