Eating at a faster speed is positively correlated with having a higher BMI. Modifying eating speed may offer a treatment opportunity for those with overweight and obesity. This review sought to understand the feasibility, acceptability, and benefit to using eating speed interventions in paediatric clinical weight-management settings. The PICO Framework was used. Clinical studies of eating speed interventions as a treatment for paediatric patients with overweight or obesity were included. No limits to search date were implemented. A systematic search of MEDLINE, PsychINFO and EMBASE via OVID, Web of Science and JBI, Database of systematic reviews and Implementation reports, along with trial registers NICE, ClinicalTrials.gov and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was conducted. Two authors were responsible for screening, extraction, and evaluation of the risk of bias. Fifteen papers reporting twelve interventions addressing eating-speed were identified, involving a total of 486 active participants (range 7-297). Study design was weak with only one full RCT and there were some concerns over quality and risk of bias (Cochrane RoB 2.0). Limited sample sizes and different measured outcomes did not allow powered evaluations of effect for all outcomes. There is some indication, overall, that addressing eating speed has the potential to be a beneficial adjunct to clinical obesity treatment, although the pooled effect estimate did not demonstrate a difference in BMISDS status following eating speed interventions compared to control [pooled mean difference (0.04, 95% CI -0.39 to 0.46, N = 3)]. Developments to improve the engagement to, and acceptability of, interventions are required, alongside rigorous high-quality trials to evaluate effectiveness.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This review is funded by a GW4 MRC Doctoral training programme grant awarded to JC. This research is supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol . The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.
- Eating rate
- Speed of eating