Application of mindfulness in a tier 3 obesity service improves eating behaviour and facilitates successful weight-loss.

Research paper by Petra P Hanson, Emma E Shuttlewood, Louise L Halder, Neha N Shah, F T FT Lam, Vinod V Menon, Thomas M TM Barber

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism


Mindfulness strategies may facilitate healthier eating behaviour but have not previously been studied in a UK-based tier 3 obesity service. To demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of mindfulness as part of newly created group sessions within a tier 3 obesity service. Recruitment of participants (n=53, including n=33 completers) from patients attending a tier 3-based obesity service at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW). Each participant attended 4 group sessions, at which mindfulness-based eating behaviour strategies were taught. Self-reported eating behaviour and body-weight were assessed at baseline and following completion of attendance at the group sessions. Paired-sample t-tests were performed. A p-value <0.05 was considered significant. Data are reported for the 33 completers. Weight difference was assessed in a retrospective control group of 33 patients who did not attend the group sessions but received the standard multidisciplinary input. There were statistically significant improvements (p=0.009) in self-reported eating behaviour (driven by improvements in 'fast-foodism' [p=0.031]) and reduction in body-weight (3.06kg [SD 5.2kg], p=0.002) at 6-months following completion of the group sessions. This was statistically more (p=0.036) than 6-month weight loss in control group (0.21kg). Participants reported improved self-esteem and confidence in self-management of body-weight. Application of mindfulness-based eating behaviour strategies, taught at group sessions within a tier 3 obesity service, resulted in significant improvement in eating behaviour, and facilitated subsequent weight-loss over 6-months. Such a novel strategy has potential for scalability to the wider obese population.