A mindfulness eating programme may be beneficial in addressing unhealthy eating habits in individuals with serious mental illness

In February 2019 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess the effect of a mindfulness eating programme in individuals with serious mental illness. The researchers stated that mindful eating has been effective in reducing obesity related eating patterns and in this study a programme was developed to increase self-regulation based on mindful eating. A total of 46 individuals were involved in the study and took part in four rounds of a 14-week mindful eating and nutrition programme, responded to questionnaires on eating behaviours and provided feedback. Results showed that by the end of the programme, the individuals ate with significantly greater awareness, less distraction, greater cognitive restraint, and engaged less in over eating and emotional eating. The programme appeared to be well-received by those taking part in the study. The researchers concluded that mindful eating may improve the long term success of programmes to address unhealthy eating amongst individuals with serious mental illness. However more research is required on this topic.

Gidugu V, Jacobs ML. Empowering individuals with mental illness to develop healthy eating habits through mindful eating: results of a program evaluation. Psychol Health Med. 2019 Feb;24(2):177-186

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