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. 2016 Apr;23(2):224-33.
doi: 10.1007/s12529-015-9513-z.

Associations of Dispositional Mindfulness With Obesity and Central Adiposity: The New England Family Study

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Free PMC article

Associations of Dispositional Mindfulness With Obesity and Central Adiposity: The New England Family Study

Eric B Loucks et al. Int J Behav Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate whether dispositional mindfulness (defined as the ability to attend nonjudgmentally to one's own physical and mental processes) is associated with obesity and central adiposity.

Methods: Study participants (n = 394) were from the New England Family Study, a prospective birth cohort, with median age 47 years. Dispositional mindfulness was assessed using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Central adiposity was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans with primary outcomes android fat mass and android/gynoid ratio. Obesity was defined as body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2).

Results: Multivariable-adjusted regression analyses demonstrated that participants with low vs. high MAAS scores were more likely to be obese (prevalence ratio for obesity = 1.34 (95 % confidence limit (CL): 1.02, 1.77)), adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, birth weight, childhood socioeconomic status, and childhood intelligence. Furthermore, participants with low vs. high MAAS level had a 448 (95 % CL 39, 857) g higher android fat mass and a 0.056 (95 % CL 0.003, 0.110) greater android/gynoid fat mass ratio. Prospective analyses demonstrated that participants who were not obese in childhood and became obese in adulthood (n = 154) had -0.21 (95 % CL -0.41, -0.01; p = 0.04) lower MAAS scores than participants who were not obese in childhood or adulthood (n = 203).

Conclusions: Dispositional mindfulness may be inversely associated with obesity and adiposity. Replication studies are needed to adequately establish whether low dispositional mindfulness is a risk factor for obesity and adiposity.

Keywords: Adiposity; Epidemiology; Mindfulness; Obesity; Prevention.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Prevalence ratios (95 % confidence limits) of obesity (BMI≥30 kg/m2) according to mindfulness level, adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, childhood socioeconomic status, childhood intelligence, and birth weight. Mindfulness attention awareness scale (MAAS) levels represent the following MAAS scores (range 1–6): low <4, medium 4–5, and high >5

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