Mindfulness, Eating Behaviours, and Obesity: A Review and Reflection on Current Findings

Curr Obes Rep. 2015 Mar;4(1):141-6. doi: 10.1007/s13679-014-0131-x.


Mindfulness and mindful eating have become popular in recent years. In this review, we first explore what mindfulness is in the context of psychological research, and why it offers promise for eating behaviours and weight loss. Second, we review the main empirical findings for weight loss in mindfulness-based intervention programmes. Third, contradictions in the findings are explored in more depth, and suggestions are made regarding why they may be occurring. Fourth, the benefits of adding self-compassion (and compassion) training to mindfulness practise to assist weight loss is discussed. Finally, the limitations of the research literature (and possible solutions) are explored. Overall, it is concluded that while mindfulness meditations that specifically focus on eating may be extremely helpful in promoting better eating behaviours, and assist in weight regulation, work is still needed to make such interventions appeal to a wider audience.

Keywords: Compassion; Eating behaviours; Meditation; Mindfulness; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Eating* / psychology
  • Emotions
  • Empathy
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Meditation*
  • Mindfulness*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Weight Loss*