Management of eating disorders for people with higher weight: clinical practice guideline

Angelique F. Ralph, Leah Brennan, Sue Byrne, Belinda Caldwell, Jo Farmer, Laura M. Hart, Gabriella A. Heruc, Sarah Maguire, Milan K. Piya, Julia Quin, Sarah K. Trobe, Andrew Wallis, Aj Williams-Tchen, Phillipa Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The prevalence of eating disorders is high in people with higher weight. However, despite this, eating disorders experienced by people with higher weight have been consistently under-recognised and under-treated, and there is little to guide clinicians in the management of eating disorders in this population. Aim: The aim of this guideline is to synthesise the current best practice approaches to the management of eating disorders in people with higher weight and make evidence-based clinical practice recommendations. Methods: The National Eating Disorders Collaboration Steering Committee auspiced a Development Group for a Clinical Practice Guideline for the treatment of eating disorders for people with higher weight. The Development Group followed the ‘Guidelines for Guidelines’ process outlined by the National Health and Medical Research Council and aim to meet their Standards to be: 1. relevant and useful for decision making; 2. transparent; 3. overseen by a guideline development group; 4. identifying and managing conflicts of interest; 5. focused on health and related outcomes; 6. evidence informed; 7. making actionable recommendations; 8. up-to-date; and, 9. accessible. The development group included people with clinical and/or academic expertise and/or lived experience. The guideline has undergone extensive peer review and consultation over an 18-month period involving reviews by key stakeholders, including experts and organisations with clinical academic and/or lived experience. Recommendations: Twenty-one clinical recommendations are made and graded according to the National Health and Medical Research Council evidence levels. Strong recommendations were supported for psychological treatment as a first-line treatment approach adults (with bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder), adolescents and children. Clinical considerations such as weight stigma, interprofessional collaborative practice and cultural considerations are also discussed. Conclusions: This guideline will fill an important gap in the need to better understand and care for people experiencing eating disorders who also have higher weight. This guideline acknowledges deficits in knowledge and consequently the reliance on consensus and lower levels of evidence for many recommendations, and the need for research particularly evaluating weight-neutral and other more recent approaches in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121
JournalJournal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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