The effectiveness of a comprehensive mind body weight loss intervention for overweight and obese adults: a pilot study

Complement Ther Med. 2013 Aug;21(4):286-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.05.005. Epub 2013 Jun 15.


Objectives: This pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of a comprehensive mind body intervention for weight loss in overweight and obesity and the maintenance of weight loss at 6-month follow-up.

Design: Thirty-one overweight and obese employees (Body Mass Index (BMI) 28.6-47.9 kg/m²) from a large corporation participated in a 20-week comprehensive mind body intervention targeting weight loss.

Main outcome measures: Weight, BMI, waist and hip circumference, rate pressure product (RPP), blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and psychological variables were collected at baseline, post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up.

Results: Using linear mixed model analyses, the intervention resulted in significant mean weight loss (-4.3 kg, 95% CI -5.8 to -2.8), decreases in BMI (-1.51, 95% CI -2.1 to -1.0), hip circumference measurement (-4.3 cm, 95% CI -6.9 to -1.5), and triglyceride levels (95% CI -33.1 to -4.8). In 6-month follow-up after intervention, statistically significant improvements in weight, BMI and waist measurement were sustained. Participants also showed positive changes in self-reported psychological indices: food-related disinhibition, and hunger both decreased significantly (p<0.01); general self-efficacy increased (p<0.05); positive affect increased (p<0.001); physical function and self-esteem increased (p<0.01); and measures of health-promoting behaviors on 4 subscales (health responsibility, physical activity, nutrition, and stress management) also showed statistically significant improvements (p<0.001) at post-intervention and 6-month follow-up.

Conclusions: This comprehensive mind body intervention showed modest effects on physical, laboratory, and psychological outcomes, both immediately following treatment and at 6-month follow-up, in overweight and obese individuals.

Keywords: Meditation; Mind body intervention behavioral intervention; Obesity; Overweight; Relaxation Response.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods*
  • Mind-Body Therapies / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss*
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods*