A mindful eating intervention: A theory-guided randomized anti-obesity feasibility study with adolescent Latino females

Patricia Daly, Thaddeus Pace, Judith Berg, Usha Menon, Laura A. Szalacha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


While pediatric anti-obesity lifestyle interventions have received considerable attention, few show sustained impact on body mass index (BMI). Using the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Theory as a framework, we examined the effects of a satiety-focused mindful eating intervention (MEI) on BMI, weight and mindful awareness. Method Design and Setting: Utilizing a two-group, repeated measures design, 37 adolescent females with a BMI >90th percentile, recruited from a public high school in a Latino community in the Southwestern United States, were randomized 2:1, one third to the group receiving a 6-week MEI and two thirds to the comparison group (CG) receiving the usual care (nutrition and exercise information). Intervention: During six weekly 90-min after school MEI group sessions, the behavioral skills of slow intentional eating were practiced with foci on satiety cues and triggers to overeat. Outcomes: Feasibility and acceptability were measured as participant retention (goal ≥55%) and evaluative comments from those in the MEI group, respectively. BMI and mindful awareness were measured on site at baseline, immediately post intervention, and at 4-week follow-up (week 10). Results Fifty-seven and 65% of those in the MEI and CG were retained throughout the study, respectively. MEI participants showed significantly lowered BMI compared with CG participants, whose weight increased (p < 0.001). At six weeks, the MEI group BMI decreased by 1.1 kg/m2 (BMI continued to decline to 1.4 kg/m2 by week 10); while CG BMI increased by 0.7 kg/m2 (consistent with BMI >90th percentile standard growth projections). Conclusions Initial and sustained decline of BMI in the MEI group supports further study of this theory-guided approach, and the value of practicing satiety-focused mindful eating behavioral skills to facilitate health behavior change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Adolescents
  • Female
  • Latino
  • Mindful eating
  • Mindfulness
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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