Comparative effectiveness of a mindful eating intervention to a diabetes self-management intervention among adults with type 2 diabetes: a pilot study

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Nov;112(11):1835-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.07.036.


Mindful eating offers promise as an effective approach for weight management and glycemic control in people with diabetes. Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is an essential component of effective self-care. Yet, little research has compared the effect of mindful eating to DSME-based treatment. This study compared the impact of these two interventions in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A prospective randomized controlled trial with two parallel interventions was used. Participants included adults age 35 to 65 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus for 1 year or more, body mass index (BMI) of 27 or more, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) of 7% or more who were randomly assigned to a 3-month mindful eating (MB-EAT-D; n=27) or Smart Choices (SC) DSME-based (n=25) intervention. Follow-up occurred 3 months after intervention completion. Dietary intake, physical activity, weight, HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose, and fasting insulin were assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance with contrast analysis. There was no significant difference between groups in the change in weight or glycemia at study end. Significant difference occurred between groups in the change in dietary intake/1,000 kcal of trans fats, total fiber, and sugars (all P<0.05). Mean (± standard error) reduction in weight (-2.92 ± 0.54 kg for SC vs -1.53 ± 0.54 kg for MB-EAT-D) and HbA1c (-0.67 ± 0.24% for SC and -0.83 ± 0.24% for MB-EAT-D) were significant (P<0.01). Significant reduction in energy intake and glycemic load occurred (all P<0.0001) for both groups. Training in mindful eating and diabetes self-management facilitate improvement in dietary intake, modest weight loss, and glycemic control. The availability of effective treatments gives patients with diabetes choices in meeting their self-care needs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Diet, Diabetic / psychology*
  • Diet, Diabetic / standards
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology
  • Diet, Reducing / standards
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self Care*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin