Presentation (Project) Title

Mindful Eating

Mentor Information

Geoffrey Potts (Department of Psychology)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Previous literature suggests that mindfulness increases internal awareness. When applied to nutrition, mindfulness has been successful in enabling healthier food choices in eating disordered and also overweight populations. Mindful eating is thought to increase conscious and intentional food choices, however, there is no supporting evidence for mindfulness impacting the food behavior of normal-weight individuals. I hypothesize that mindfulness will positively affect food attitude, demand, and choice of healthy options and negatively affect unhealthy options. Mindfulness is established through a 10-minute video-guided breathing exercise. Food attitudes are measured for healthy and unhealthy options on a five-point Likert scale. The demand task tests for the likelihood of food purchases on a scale from 1-100 for both healthy and unhealthy options at different price points. In the food choice task, the participant chooses a snack from both healthy and unhealthy options at the end of the study as a thank you for completing the experiment. Literature suggests more mindful people tend to choose healthier choices than less mindful people. The results of this ongoing study bring attention to the power of mindfulness when it comes to food choices in college students and the importance of building positive nutrition habits for a healthy life. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind different mindfulness practices and their efficacy in enabling healthy food choices. Further research could make mindfulness a strategy in public health campaigns to address the obesity epidemic in the US.

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Mindful Eating

Previous literature suggests that mindfulness increases internal awareness. When applied to nutrition, mindfulness has been successful in enabling healthier food choices in eating disordered and also overweight populations. Mindful eating is thought to increase conscious and intentional food choices, however, there is no supporting evidence for mindfulness impacting the food behavior of normal-weight individuals. I hypothesize that mindfulness will positively affect food attitude, demand, and choice of healthy options and negatively affect unhealthy options. Mindfulness is established through a 10-minute video-guided breathing exercise. Food attitudes are measured for healthy and unhealthy options on a five-point Likert scale. The demand task tests for the likelihood of food purchases on a scale from 1-100 for both healthy and unhealthy options at different price points. In the food choice task, the participant chooses a snack from both healthy and unhealthy options at the end of the study as a thank you for completing the experiment. Literature suggests more mindful people tend to choose healthier choices than less mindful people. The results of this ongoing study bring attention to the power of mindfulness when it comes to food choices in college students and the importance of building positive nutrition habits for a healthy life. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind different mindfulness practices and their efficacy in enabling healthy food choices. Further research could make mindfulness a strategy in public health campaigns to address the obesity epidemic in the US.