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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2003 Nov;108(5):324-32.

Schizophrenia and weight management: a systematic review of interventions to control weight.

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  • 1Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Weight gain is a frequent side effect of antipsychotic medication which has serious implications for a patient's health and well being. This study systematically reviews the literature on the effectiveness of interventions designed to control weight gain in schizophrenia.


A systematic search strategy was conducted of major databases in addition to citation searches. Study quality was rated.


Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Five of eight pharmacological intervention studies reported small reductions in weight (<5% baseline body weight). All behavioural (including diet and/or exercise) interventions reported small reductions in, or maintenance of, weight.


Weight loss may be difficult but it is not impossible. Given the inconsistent results, the widespread use of pharmacological interventions cannot be recommended. Both dietary and exercise counselling set within a behavioural modification programme is necessary for sustained weight control.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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