The role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: Effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms
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Dietetics and Nutrition Department, Medical School, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A86
The role of mindfulness, mindful eating and a newer concept of intuitive eating in modulating eating habits and behavior is an area of increasing interest. In this workshop, a summary of the current evidence is presented, together with details of interventions undertaken and the tools to measure outcomes. “Mindful eating” describes a non-judgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating. This workshop reports a mindful eating questionnaire (MEQ) to support rigorous scientific inquiry into this concept. An item pool based on hypothesized domains of mindful eating will be presented. The domains of the final 28-item questionnaire were: Disinhibition, Awareness, External Cues, Emotional Response, and Distraction. Mindfulness-based approaches appear most effective in addressing binge eating, emotional eating and eating in response to external cues. Mindfulness-based approaches may prevent weight gain. The evidence base for intuitive eating is limited and further research is needed to examine its potential in altering eating behaviours. Mindfulness appears to work by an increased awareness of internal, rather than external, cues to eat. Mindfulness and mindful eating have the potential to address problematic eating behaviours and the challenges many face with controlling their food intake. Mindfulness targets becoming more aware of, rather than reacting to, one’s situation and choices. Eating mindfully means that all of the physical and emotional senses are used to experience and enjoy the food choices made. This increases the gratitude for food, which can improve the overall eating experience. Mindful eating encourages one to make choices that will be satisfying and nourishing to the body. However, it discourages “judging” one’s eating behaviors as there are different types of eating experiences. As as person becomes more aware of his/her eating habits, he/she may take steps towards behavior changes that will benefit the individual and the environment .The aim of this workshop is to identify the interrelations between the mindful eating and the core components of, adaptive and maladaptive measures of eating behaviours and briefly present a study done in Cyprus regarding mindful eating.
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