Mindfulness training may improve the effectiveness of intensive weight management programmes, according to findings of a small new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The study included 53 adults attending a tier 3-based obesity service in the United Kingdom. Among those recruited into the study, 33 participants completed at least three of four group sessions where they were taught mindfulness-based eating behaviour strategies. A retrospective control group, composed of 33 randomly chosen participants who had not been taught mindfulness techniques, was also included.
The study found participants who received mindfulness teaching had significantly greater weight-loss of 2.85 kg than control participants who had no mindfulness teaching (P=.036). Participants also had a statistically significant improvement of 14.3 points (4% improvement) in overall self-reported eating style (P=.009) between assessments performed at baseline and following completion of attendance at the group sessions.
Qualitative feedback showed participants felt better able to plan meals in advance after the sessions and felt more confident in self-managing weight-loss.
The authors noted a relatively high drop-out rate from the group sessions and said alternative means of administering mindfulness programmes to patients with obesity should be explored.