The Effect of Ear Acupuncture in Reducing Body Weight in Obesity Patients: A Meta-Analysis

Utami Pangestu, Yulia Lanti Retno Dewi, Hanung Prasetya


Background: Obesity is now no longer consi­dered a health problem in developed countries, but has also been faced by developing countries such as Indonesia. According to WHO, obesity worldwide has increased by more than two times from 1980. In 2016, there were 1.9 billion adults who were overweight and more than 600 million of them were obese or overweight. This study aims to analyze the effect of ear acu­puncture therapy on weight loss.

Subjects and Method: This study was a systematic review and meta-analysis using the Randomized Controlled Trial design. The arti­cles used in this study were obtained from seve­ral databases including PubMed, Google Scholar, Springerlink, Hindawi, and Science­direct. The articles used in this study were those published from 2008-2020. The article search was carried out by considering the eli­gibility criteria defined using the PICO model. P: obese patients (BMI ≥25), I: ear acu­puncture therapy, C: no ear acupuncture thera­py O: weight loss. The keywords for searching articles are as follows: "auricular acupuncture", AND "obesity", "auricular acupuncture for obe­sity" and "acupuncture obesity randomized con­trolled trial". The articles included in this study are full text articles with a Randomized Con­trolled Trial. Articles were collected using PRISMA flow diagrams. Articles were analyzed using the Review Manager 5.3 application.

Results: A total of 7 articles were reviewed in this study. The meta-analysis showed the results that ear acupuncture therapy was effec­tive for weight loss in obese people (SMD= -0.74; 95% CI= -1.31 to-0.16;  p<0.001). This meta-analysis combined primary research from Korea, Taiwan and Iran.

Conclusion: Ear acupuncture therapy affects weight loss in obese people.

Keywords: auricular acupuncture, obesity, randomized controlled trial

Correspondence: Utami Pangestu. Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Surakarta 57126, Central Java. Email:

Indonesian Journal of Medicine (2021), 06(01): 23-31


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