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Appetite. 2009 Apr;52(2):396-404. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.11.012. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Exploratory randomised controlled trial of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention for women.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Swansea University, United Kingdom.


To explore the efficacy of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention for women. Sixty-two women (ages 19-64; BMI 22.5-52.1) who were attempting to lose weight were randomised to an intervention or control condition. The former were invited to attend four 2-h workshops, the latter were asked to continue with their normal diets. Data were collected at baseline, 4 and 6 months. BMI, physical activity, mental health. At 6 months intervention participants showed significantly greater increases in physical activity compared to controls (p<.05) but no significant differences in weight loss or mental health. However, when intervention participants who reported 'never' applying the workshop principles at 6 months (n=7) were excluded, results showed both significantly greater increases in physical activity (3.1 sessions per week relative to controls, p<.05) and significantly greater reductions in BMI (0.96 relative to controls, equivalent to 2.32 kg, p<0.5). Reductions in BMI were mediated primarily by reductions in binge eating. Despite its brevity, the intervention was successful at bringing about change. Further refinements should increase its efficacy.

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