Obesity is fast replacing tobacco as the single most important preventable cause of chronic diseases, and will add 7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 cases of cancer in the US by 2030, according to Columbia University’s School of Public Health.
32 percent of American men and 35 percent of women are now obese, according to the university’s researchers. Depending upon the severity of their condition, obese employees cost their employers up to $6,600 more per year in medical claims, absenteeism, and lost productivity, notes the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. A growing number of studies show mindfulness to be highly effective in regulating appetite and eating. A sample of recent studies is below.
|The application of mindfulness to eating disorders treatment: A systematic review - In a systematic review of references from 12 databases, 8 studies were found. The review supported the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions to the treatment of eating disorders.|
|Mindfulness-Action based cognitive behavioral therapy for concurrent binge eating disorder and substance use disorders - This study was the first to examine treatment outcomes for this concurrent disordered population. In this pilot study, 38 individuals diagnosed with binge eating disorder and substance abuse disorder participated in a 16-week group Mindfulness-Action Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MACBT). Participants significantly improved on measures of objective binge eating episodes; disordered eating attitudes; alcohol and drug addiction severity; and depression.|
|Exploratory randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention for women - At 6 months, intervention participants showed significantly greater increases in physical activity compared to a control group that continued its diet as usual, but no significant differences in weight loss or mental health. 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) and significantly greater reductions in BMI (0.96 relative to controls, equivalent to 2.32 kg.)|
|An exploratory study of a meditation-based intervention for binge eating disorder - The efficacy of a 6-week meditation-based group intervention for Binge Eating Disorder was evaluated in 18 obese women. Binges decreased in frequency, from 4.02/week to 1.57/week, and in severity. Depression and anxiety decreased significantly; sense of control increased.|