Exploratory randomised controlled trial of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention for women

Appetite. 2009 Apr;52(2):396-404. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.11.012. Epub 2008 Dec 3.


To explore the efficacy of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention for women. Sixty-two women (ages 19-64; BMI 22.5-52.1) who were attempting to lose weight were randomised to an intervention or control condition. The former were invited to attend four 2-h workshops, the latter were asked to continue with their normal diets. Data were collected at baseline, 4 and 6 months. BMI, physical activity, mental health. At 6 months intervention participants showed significantly greater increases in physical activity compared to controls (p<.05) but no significant differences in weight loss or mental health. However, 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, p<.05) and significantly greater reductions in BMI (0.96 relative to controls, equivalent to 2.32 kg, p<0.5). Reductions in BMI were mediated primarily by reductions in binge eating. Despite its brevity, the intervention was successful at bringing about change. Further refinements should increase its efficacy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia
  • Cognition
  • Emotions*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Self Concept*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss / physiology*
  • Young Adult