Efficacy of stress management interventions on emotional eating in childhood and adolescence: A systematic review.

  • Despina S. Kalogiratou
  • Elena Critselis
  • Maria Charalampopoulou
  • George P. Chrousos
  • Christina Darviri
Keywords: Emotional eating, Stress management, Children, Adolescents, Coping techniques


Eating as a compensatory mechanism to adverse emotional experiences in children and adolescents has been associated with high rates of overweight and obesity, binge eating and various problematic eating behaviors. Children and adolescents who display emotional eating are likely to develop eating disorders in adult life. Stress management may be an important target to decrease emotional eating in youth. A systematic review was conducted to determine the efficacy of stress management interventions on reducing and managing emotional eating in children and adolescents. Using a combination of terms, Scopus, Pubmed and Web of Science databases were searched. After removing duplicates, 734 publications were screened and 26 identified as potentially relevant. Two randomized controlled trials were assessed for their methodological quality using the Jadad Scale. Our findings suggest that stress management strategies favorably influenced outcomes related to childhood and adolescence emotional eating and highlight the urgent need for more, high-quality studies to examine the efficacy of stress management interventions in emotional eating amongst children and adolescents.
General article