The effect of mindful eating on subsequent intake of a high calorie snack

Seguias, L. & Tapper, K. (2017). The effect of mindful eating on subsequent intake of a high calorie snack. Appetite, 121, pp. 93-100. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.10.041

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This study examined the effects of applying a mindful eating strategy during lunch on subsequent intake of a palatable snack. It also looked at whether this effect occurred due to improved memory for lunch and whether effects varied with participant gender, level of interoceptive awareness or sensitivity to reward. Participants (n = 51) completed a heartbeat perception task to assess interoceptive awareness. They were then provided with a lunch of 825 calories. Participants in the experimental group ate lunch while listening to an audio clip encouraging them to focus on the sensory properties of the food (e.g. its smell, look, texture). Those in the control group ate lunch in silence. Two hours later participants were offered a snack. They then completed a questionnaire assessing sensitivity to reward as well as other measures assessing various aspects of their memory for lunch. The results showed no significant difference in lunch intake between the two groups but participants in the experimental group consumed significantly less snack than those in the control group; mean = 112.30 calories (SD = 70.24) versus mean = 203.20 calories (SD = 88.05) respectively, Cohen's d = 1.14. This effect occurred regardless of participant gender or level of interoceptive awareness. There was also no significant moderation by sensitivity to reward although one aspect, reward interest, showed a trend towards significance. There was no evidence to indicate that the mindful eating strategy enhanced participants' memory for their lunch. Further research is needed to assess the long-term effects of this strategy, as well as establish the underlying mechanisms. Future work on the relationship between sensitivity to reward and the effects of mindful eating may also benefit from larger sample sizes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords: mindfulness; present moment awareness; eating; calories, food intake; memory
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology

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