Mindful Eating Behaviors can Reduce Obesity
Paying Attention as Eat
Mindful Eating is just paying attention to what you and how you feel while you are eating. Talking at a social event while you munch on the cheese tray would NOT be “mindful eating”. Looking at your plate p paying attention to all the food you have put on it and then starting to eat and tasting each forkful as you eat it instead of just shoveling it in would be “mindful eating”.
In the new study, published July 6 in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers examined data on over 3,700 adults in the United Kingdom who participated in two separate studies.
Participants’ weight and height were measured, and they provided a blood sample, which researchers used to calculate their genetic risk of obesity.
People also completed questionnaires that measured different eating behaviors, such as a tendency to engage in emotional eating or overeat due to hunger.
Researchers found that people with a higher genetic risk of obesity were more likely to have a higher BMI.
BMI is a way to assess whether someone has obesity, overweight or underweight. It does not always accurately assess body fat, especially for certain racial/ethnic or other groups.
However, the study results also showed that for people who scored higher for certain types of eating behaviors — called “cognitive restraint” — the link between genes and BMI was reduced.
This included both flexible strategies — such as mindful eating, portion control, and chopping vegetables in advance for easier snacking — and rigid strategies like calorie counting.
“What we discovered for the first time was that increasing both types of restraint — [flexible and rigid] — could potentially improve BMI in people genetically at risk; meaning that restraint-based interventions could be useful to target the problem,” study author Shahina Begum, a psychology PhD student from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, said in a news release.