Mindful Eating Reduces Impulsive Food Choice in Adolescents and Adults

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Objective: The present study tested the extent to which age and obesity predicted impulsive choices for food and monetary outcomes and tested how a brief mindful-eating training would alter delay discounting for food and money choices compared with control groups. Method: First, 172 adolescents (Mage = 13.13 years) and 176 (Mage = 23.33 years) adults completed the Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) and Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) as measures of food and money delay discounting, respectively. Then, participants returned to the lab and were randomly assigned to complete a brief mindful-eating training, watch a DVD on nutrition, or serve as a control. Participants completed the FCQ and MCQ again as a postmanipulation measure. Results: Participants with high percent body fat (PBF) were more impulsive for food than those with low PBF. Adults with high PBF were also more impulsive for money compared with adults with low PBF; no PBF-related differences were found for adolescents. Participants in the mindful-eating group exhibited more self-controlled choices for food, but not for money. The control conditions did not exhibit changes. Conclusion: The study suggests that individuals with high PBF make more impulsive food choices relative to those with low PBF, which could increase the risk of obesity over time. It also is the first to demonstrate shifts in choice patterns for food and money using a brief mindful-eating training with adolescents. Mindful eating is a beneficial strategy to reduce impulsive food choice, at least temporarily, that may impede weight gain.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles