Mindful Decision-Making Training and Obesity

Excessive caloric intake such as the overeating of “junk” foods including salty snacks may contribute to the problem of obesity. Such eating decisions may be related to neurobiological preferences. The training of mindful decision-making processes may provide a helpful intervention to improve the eating behavior.

A recent study investigated the effects of a computerized inhibitory control training (ICT) and a mindful decision-making training (MDT) on eating habits (Forman et al., 2016). A total of 119 individuals with the habit of eating salty snack foods participated in the study. They were divided into 4 groups, one group had MDT, one group had ICT, one group had both MDT and ICT, and one group only had psychoeducation.

The participants reported their salty snack food consumption two times each day during the one week before and after the trainings. The study found that MDT, the mindfulness training, had consistent effects for all levels of trait emotional eating (Forman et al., 2016). In comparison, ICT showed influences on the lower levels of emotional eating.

The study indicated that both ICT and MDT may have beneficial effects by reducing hedonically-motivated eating (Forman et al., 2016). In addition, the combination of ICT and MDT may be beneficial for those with lower levels in emotional eating. More studies are still needed to find out the mechanisms and the possible differences between the training programs.


Forman, E. M., Shaw, J. A., Goldstein, S. P., Butryn, M. L., Martin, L. M., Meiran, N., … Manasse, S. M. (2016). Mindful decision making and inhibitory control training as complementary means to decrease snack consumption. Appetite, 103, 176–83.

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