Obesity and overweight problems are serious global health issues today and despite many efforts, the prevalence has continued to rise for decades. Interestingly, hypnotherapy has been gaining recognition as an effective treatment for obesity and overweight problems. This review compiles contemporary scientific research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for weight reduction. Scopus, PubMed and EBSCO Host databases were applied in the study. The search identified 119 articles, of which seven met the inclusion criteria. A total of 539 respondents (82.7% women and 17.3% men) between the ages of 17 and 67 years were represented in the seven studies. Most studies incorporated lifestyle changes, such as changes of dietary habit and behavioral recommendations in the hypnotic procedure. Their results suggested that the use of hypnotherapy not only promoted weight reduction during the treatment period but also after treatment cessation, and in some cases, one to ten kilograms were lost during follow-up periods. In addition, one study even showed increased physical activity among the hypnotised individuals. This use of hypnotherapy also improved respondents' eating behavior and quality of life. However, a definitive conclusion could not be drawn due to several methodological flaws and the limited number of published studies in this area. Therefore, further well-designed studies are needed to substantiate the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for this modern-day health problem.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.