Mindfulness Meditation: An Innovative, Additional Strategy for Weight Loss

Friday, 16 July 2010: 8:30 AM

Kathleen Spadaro, PhD, RN1
Susan M. Sereika, PhD2
John M. Jakicic, PhD3
Susan M. Cohen, DSN, APRN, FAAN2
1School of Nursing, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
2School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
3Health and Physical Activity, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Learning Objective 1: discuss the self-regulation process related to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction(MBSR) and weight loss.

Learning Objective 2: identify variables related to weight loss that MBSR could influence; and discuss results and implications for further study.

Purpose: The specific aims were to explore the effects of a modified version of mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention added to the standard behavioral weight loss program (SBWP+MM) on self-regulating processes related to weight loss (primary), dietary intake, eating behaviors and physical activity (secondary) compared to a standard behavioral weight loss intervention (SBWP) and to explore the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention.
Methods: A randomized, controlled trial was conducted among 46 overweight/obese adults recruited from the Pittsburgh community.  Following initial screening and medical clearance, subjects attended weekly group sessions in either the SBWP intervention or the SBWP+MM intervention for 24 weeks.  Variables included:  body weight, dietary intake, eating behaviors and physical activity baseline, week 12 and week 24.  Adherence, feasibility and acceptability were measured through retention, attendance and self-monitoring rates. 
Results: Thirty-five subjects (76%) completed the study.  Using an intention-to-treat model, 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<.00).  A nonsignificant mean greater weight loss was found in the SBWP+MM group (6.89kg v. 4.07kg).  Significant improvement in eating behaviors was found in the SBWP+MM group (p=.015).  The SBWP+MM group had a 30% higher retention rate, 21% higher attendance and 22% higher rate of diary return than the SBWP group. 
Conclusion: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction added to SBWP could enhance the weight loss success with changes in eating behaviors, increased adherence and self-monitoring.  A larger, long-term study is needed for hypothesis testing.