College - Author 1
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Department - Author 1
Food Science and Nutrition Department
Degree Name - Author 1
BS in Nutrition
Kari Pilolla, College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Food Science and Nutrition Department
This literature review examines the impact of various mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) on the obesity-related eating behaviors of stress eating, emotional eating, and binge eating. With the inconsistency of the weight loss industry to provide long-term weight loss results, the United States is in need of alternative methods of weight loss and weight maintenance to combat the current overweight and obesity epidemic. MBIs are thought to be beneficial when targeted at behaviors of weight gain because mindfulness promotes an individual’s awareness of present physical and emotional sensations within the body, including hunger and satiety cues. Self-acceptance and stress reduction are also targeted outcomes of mindfulness and are linked to the benefits of MBIs on obesity-related eating behaviors. Results show that MBIs may be beneficial to improving the targeted eating behaviors which have been linked to weight gain. However, when weight change is the goal, MBIs have been shown to be most effective when used in conjunction with other weight loss methods such as dietary and physical activity and education modifications. To date, studies are few and contain a variety of definitions for both eating behaviors and MBIs. Future research with a narrowed scope of view and greater variation within the study populations will be beneficial. Although more research is needed, current evidence exists to support the use of MBIs to reduce the frequency and severity of stress eating, emotional eating, and binge eating.