Weight Loss Programs and Mindfulness Meditation for Obesity

Obesity is becoming a health crisis affecting more and more people. Clinical standard behavioral weight loss programs (SBWP) have been proposed to ease the problem (Spadaro et al., 2017). Such programs are often combined with trainings on mindfulness meditation (MM) to promote self-regulation behaviors and to improve the psychological wellbeing and physical health.

To investigate the effects of such trainings, 46 adults in a northeastern US city participated in a 6-month program with SBWP only or with SBWP plus MM (Spadaro et al., 2017). The participating adults were taught to reduce caloric intake, with more physical activities of 300 minutes per week, in addition to SBWP or SBWP plus MM trainings each week.

The researchers analyzed the changes in weight, eating behaviors, physical activities, and the levels of mindfulness (Spadaro et al., 2017). They observed that the SBWP plus MM group had more significant weight loss than the SBWP-only group. In addition, the SBWP plus MM group showed more improvements in eating behaviors and dietary restraint, which may contribute to the more significant weight loss.

The results suggest better effects of the mindfulness meditation methods for weight management among overweight and obese people (Spadaro et al., 2017). Such studies may encourage more investigations about the relevant scientific mechanisms. They may also be useful for developing standard protocols for weight management programs.

References:

Spadaro KC, Davis KK, Sereika SM, Gibbs BB, Jakicic JM, Cohen SM. Effect of mindfulness meditation on short-term weight loss and eating behaviors in overweight and obese adults: A randomized controlled trial. J Complement Integr Med. 2017 Dec 5. pii: /j/jcim.ahead-of-print/jcim-2016-0048/jcim-2016-0048.xml. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2016-0048.

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