Dealing with problematic eating behavior: The effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on eating behaviour, food cravings, dichotomous thinking and body image concern

Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Clinical and Psychological Science, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Appetite (Impact Factor: 2.69). 01/2012; 58(3):847-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.01.009
Source: PubMed


This study explored the efficacy of a mindfulness-based intervention for problematic eating behavior. A non-clinical sample of 26 women with disordered eating behavior was randomly assigned to an 8-week MBCT-based eating intervention or a waiting list control group. Data were collected at baseline and after 8 weeks. Compared to controls, participants in the mindfulness intervention showed significantly greater decreases in food cravings, dichotomous thinking, body image concern, emotional eating and external eating. These findings suggest that mindfulness practice can be an effective way to reduce factors that are associated with problematic eating behaviour.

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Available from: Roy Thewissen, Jan 31, 2015
    • "For instance, although the findings of the current pilot study do not suggest that the EBT skills offered any additional benefit beyond those provided in the SBT condition over 20 weeks, it is possible that a longer trial or larger sample size may have produced different results. Importantly, the current study included a larger proportion of African- American women (79 %) than the previously described studies of similar interventions or samples (e.g., Niemeier et al., 2012; Forman et al., 2013; Alberts et al., 2012; Daubenmier et al., 2011), which may also account for some of the differences between study findings, particularly given potential differences in weight loss outcomes among African American women (Wingo et al., 2014). There is some evidence to suggest that eating in response to emotions such as feeling stressed, overwhelmed and lonely is a relatively common phenomenon in African-American women with obesity (James 2013), and stressors such as discrimination, occupational stress, and caregiving responsibilities contribute to emotional eating and weight control difficulties in African-American women (Befort et al., 2008; Walcott-McQuigg, 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: Emotional eating may contribute to variability in weight loss and may warrant specialized treatment, although no randomized studies of specialized treatments exist for individuals who engage in emotional eating. This pilot study tested a new weight loss intervention for individuals who emotionally eat and compared it to the standard behavioral weight loss treatment (SBT). 79 predominantly female (95 %), predominantly African American (79.7 %) individuals who emotionally eat (BMI = 36.2 ± 4.1 kg/m(2)) were randomized to (1) a new enhanced behavioral treatment (EBT), incorporating skills for managing emotions and emotional eating or (2) a SBT. Primary outcomes were weight and emotional eating at 20 weeks. Weight decreased significantly in both groups (SBT: -5.77 kg (-7.49, -4.04); EBT: -5.83 kg (-7.57, -4.09)), with no significant between-group differences. Similar results were produced for emotional eating. Results suggest that SBT may be effective for reducing weight and emotional eating in individuals who emotionally eat, and that adding emotional-eating specific strategies may not provide additional benefits beyond those produced by SBT interventions in the short-term.Registration site: .Registration number: NCT02055391.
    Journal of Behavioral Medicine 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10865-015-9678-6 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    • "So far, the findings are promising and suggest an inverse relationship between mindfulness and disordered eating behavior. Practicing mindfulness has been found to reduce body mass in overweight adults (Tapper et al., 2009) and food cravings (Alberts, Mulkens, Smeets, & Thewissen, 2010; Alberts et al., 2012; Forman et al., 2007), dichotomous thinking , body image concern, emotional eating, external eating (Alberts et al., 2012), and binge eating (Kristeller & Hallett, 1999). Moreover, higher levels of mindfulness seem to be negatively associated with disordered eating-related cognitions (Masuda & Wendell, 2010), and mindfulness has been found to partially mediate the link between disordered eating-related cognitions and psychological distress (Masuda, Price, Anderson, & Wendell, 2010; Masuda & Wendell, 2010) as well as moderating the association between disordered eating cognitions and disordered eating behaviors (Masuda, Price, & Latzman, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: The current study investigated whether mindfulness and psychological flexibility, independently and together, explain intuitive eating. The participants were overweight or obese persons (N = 306) reporting symptoms of perceived stress and enrolled in a psychological lifestyle intervention study. Participants completed self-report measures of psychological flexibility; mindfulness including the subscales observe, describe, act with awareness, non-react, and non-judgment; and intuitive eating including the subscales unconditional permission to eat, eating for physical reasons, and reliance on hunger/satiety cues. Psychological flexibility and mindfulness were positively associated with intuitive eating factors. The results suggest that mindfulness and psychological flexibility are related constructs that not only account for some of the same variance in intuitive eating, but they also account for significant unique variances in intuitive eating. The present results indicate that non-judgment can explain the relationship between general psychological flexibility and unconditional permission to eat as well as eating for physical reasons. However, mindfulness skills-acting with awareness, observing, and non-reacting-explained reliance on hunger/satiety cues independently from general psychological flexibility. These findings suggest that mindfulness and psychological flexibility are interrelated but not redundant constructs and that both may be important for understanding regulation processes underlying eating behavior. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Behavior modification 03/2015; 39(4). DOI:10.1177/0145445515576402 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    • "In relating RFT to different eating styles we were able to document significant relations of basic self-regulatory orientations with essential daily behavior associated with health and wellbeing (Alberts et al., 2012; Baños et al., 2014; Snoek et al., 2007; van Strien et al., 1986; Wilson, 1986). Specifically, the present work examined the relation between different eating styles, in particular emotional, external eating, and restrained eating and prevention-focused and promotionfocused self-regulation. "
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    ABSTRACT: By applying regulatory focus theory (RFT) to the context of eating behavior, the present research examines the relations between individual differences in the two motivational orientations as conceptualized in RFT, that is, prevention-focused and promotion-focused self-regulation and emotional, external, and restrained eating. Building on a representative study conducted in the Netherlands (N = 4,230), it is documented that individual differences in prevention focus are positively related to emotional eating whereas negligible associations are found in regards to external and restrained eating. Individual differences in promotion focus are positively related to external eating whereas negligible associations are found in regards to emotional and restrained eating. In relating RFT to different eating styles we were able to document significant relations of basic self-regulatory orientations with regard to essential daily behavior associated with health and well-being. The implications for changing eating styles are discussed.
    Frontiers in Psychology 10/2014; 5. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01314 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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