Adverse Childhood Experiences and Obesity: Systematic Review of Behavioral Interventions for Women.
Studies have demonstrated a relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adult obesity. Group interventions addressing the psychosocial sequelae of ACES using a trauma-informed approach for adults are well described in the literature. There is also a significant body of literature on the efficacy and proposed structure of interventions addressing weight reduction in adults. However, it is unknown how often interventions addressing attainment of a healthy weight incorporate a specific focus on adult women with a history of ACEs, including childhood abuse and trauma.METHOD
A systematic review of the literature was conducted using standard approaches. Two additional reviews used broadened inclusion criteria to identify and include group-level interventions that addressed intended outcomes other than obesity. Studies that examined the link between ACEs and obesity as a primary outcome and that provided a description of any potential mediating variables were also identified. The current literature search was conducted as the first step in a multifaceted approach to the development of a set of proposed research protocol designs for an Office on Women's Health-sponsored trauma-informed healthy weight pilot intervention for obese women with a history of ACEs.RESULTS
No articles describing interventions for the treatment of obesity or overweight women with a history of ACEs were identified. Eleven articles describing ACE-related interventions and 15 studies identifying mediators were reviewed.CONCLUSIONS
Intervention studies for women with ACEs, other than psychotherapy, are limited. Significant mediators to be considered include anxiety symptoms and internalizing behaviors. Specific recommendations for interventions are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record