WEIGHT LOSS: EXPLORING SELF-REGULATION THROUGH MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
Increasing rates of overweight/obese adults, with corresponding increases in health risks, obesity-related illnesses, and health costs have not been significantly impacted despite research and commercial attempts to provide recommended weight loss strategies. Mindfulness Meditation (MM) teaches individuals to increase their awareness in the present moment which may offer an additional strategy to weight loss interventions. This study explored the effects of MM combined with standard behavioral weight loss intervention (SBWP) on short-term weight loss, physical activity, eating behaviors, food intake and mindfulness in overweight/obese adults. Additionally, adherence, feasibility and acceptability of MM were explored through retention, attendance, diary return rate, MM practice and qualitative interviewing. This exploratory mixed methods study was a 24 week randomized controlled trial that compared SBWP and Standard Behavioral Weight Loss Program plus Mindfulness Meditation (SBWP+MM) followed by a qualitative interview that explored the experiences of 12 SBWP+MM participants. The sample which was randomized between treatment groups included 46 overweight/obese, 87% female, mean age 45.2 years (SD=8.2), mean weight 91.9 kg. (SD=12.8), 21.7% African American, and 78% college-educated adults living in the Pittsburgh area. Outcome measures of weight, physical activity, eating behavior, food intake and mindfulness were explored at three time points. Data analysis was based on intention-to-treat with linear mixed effects modeling and general linear modeling. Thirty-five subjects (76%) completed the study. Mean total weight loss was 5.48 kg (SD=2.01) with a significant decrease in food intake (p<.00) and significant increase in physical activity and healthy eating behaviors (p<.000). There was a mean greater weight loss in the SBWP+MM group (6.89kg compared to 4.07kg). Only eating behaviors significantly improved in the SBWP+MM group based on the results of linear mixed effects modeling (p=.034). The SBWP+MM group had higher rates of retention (86.4%) and attendance (75%) and a difference in diary return (15 weeks versus 12 weeks). The overarching SBWP+MM qualitative theme of expanding mindfulness in personal life flowed from taking time intentionally for self to lifestyle changes. The exploratory results, eating behavior significance and other outcome differences in the SBWP+MM group suggest that a larger sample size over a longer period of time may find further statistical and clinical significance. In light of the current obesity epidemic, hypothesis testing of MM could lead to enhanced weight loss interventions for this overweight/obese population.
Advisor:Rebekah Hamilton, PhD, RN; John M. Jakicic, PhD; Susan M. Sereika, PhD; Susan M. Cohen DSN, APRN, FAAN
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:08/20/2008