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Can mindfulness influence weight management related eating behaviors? If so, how?

Tapper, K. (2017). Can mindfulness influence weight management related eating behaviors? If so, how?. Clinical Psychology Review, doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2017.03.003


Mindfulness is increasingly being used for weight management. However, the strength of the evidence for such an approach is unclear; although mindfulness-based weight management programs have had some success, it is difficult to conclude that the mindfulness components were responsible. Research in this area is further complicated by the fact that the term ‘mindfulness’ is used to refer to a range of different practices. Additionally, we have little understanding of the mechanisms by which mindfulness might exert its effects. This review addresses these issues by examining research that has looked at the independent effects of mindfulness and mindfulness-related strategies on weight loss and weight management related eating behaviors. As well as looking at evidence for effects, the review also considers whether effects may vary with different types of strategy, and the kinds of mechanisms that may be responsible for any change. It is concluded that there is some evidence to support the effects of (a) present moment awareness, when applied to the sensory properties of food, and (b) decentering. However, research in these areas has yet to be examined in a controlled manner in relation to weight management.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Mindfulness; Acceptance; Decentering; Weight loss; Eating; Calories
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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