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Obes Rev. 2017 Jan;18(1):51-67. doi: 10.1111/obr.12461. Epub 2016 Nov 11.

Mindfulness-based interventions for adults who are overweight or obese: a meta-analysis of physical and psychological health outcomes.

Author information

1
Centre for Disability and Development Research, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
2
School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
3
BodyMatters Australasia, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
4
Graduate School of Health, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
5
School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
6
School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on psychological and physical health outcomes in adults who are overweight or obese.

METHODS:

We searched 14 electronic databases for randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies that met eligibility criteria. Comprehensive Meta-analysis software was used to compute the effect size estimate Hedge's g.

RESULTS:

Fifteen studies measuring post-treatment outcomes of mindfulness-based interventions in 560 individuals were identified. The average weight loss was 4.2 kg. Overall effects were large for improving eating behaviours (g = 1.08), medium for depression (g = 0.64), anxiety (g = 0.62) and eating attitudes (g = 0.57) and small for body mass index (BMI; g = 0.47) and metacognition (g = 0.38) outcomes. Therapeutic effects for BMI (g = 0.43), anxiety (g = 0.53), eating attitudes (g = 0.48) and eating behaviours (g = 0.53) remained significant when examining results from higher quality randomized control trials alone. There was no efficacy advantage for studies exceeding the median dose of 12 h of face-to-face intervention. Studies utilizing an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approach provided the only significant effect for improving BMI (g = 0.66), while mindfulness approaches produced great variation from small to large (g = 0.30-1.68) effects across a range of psychological health and eating-related constructs. Finally, the limited longitudinal data suggested maintenance of BMI (g = 0.85) and eating attitudes (g = 0.75) gains at follow-up were only detectable in lower quality prospective cohort studies.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mindfulness-based interventions may be both physically and psychologically beneficial for adults who are overweight or obese, but further high-quality research examining the mechanisms of action are encouraged.

KEYWORDS:

Meta-analysis; mindfulness; obesity; overweight

PMID:
27862826
DOI:
10.1111/obr.12461
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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