Publication Date

11-11-2016

Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on psychological and physical health outcomes in adults who are overweight or obese.

Methods

We searched 14 electronic databases for randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies that met eligibility criteria. Comprehensive Meta-analysis software was used to compute the effect size estimate Hedge's g.

Results

Fifteen studies measuring post-treatment outcomes of mindfulness-based interventions in 560 individuals were identified. The average weight loss was 4.2 kg. Overall effects were large for improving eating behaviours (g = 1.08), medium for depression (g = 0.64), anxiety (g = 0.62) and eating attitudes (g = 0.57) and small for body mass index (BMI; g = 0.47) and metacognition (g = 0.38) outcomes. Therapeutic effects for BMI (g = 0.43), anxiety (g = 0.53), eating attitudes (g = 0.48) and eating behaviours (g = 0.53) remained significant when examining results from higher quality randomized control trials alone. There was no efficacy advantage for studies exceeding the median dose of 12 h of face-to-face intervention. Studies utilizing an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approach provided the only significant effect for improving BMI (g = 0.66), while mindfulness approaches produced great variation from small to large (g = 0.30–1.68) effects across a range of psychological health and eating-related constructs. Finally, the limited longitudinal data suggested maintenance of BMI (g = 0.85) and eating attitudes (g = 0.75) gains at follow-up were only detectable in lower quality prospective cohort studies.

Conclusions

Mindfulness-based interventions may be both physically and psychologically beneficial for adults who are overweight or obese, but further high-quality research examining the mechanisms of action are encouraged.

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access

Notes

This is an accepted manuscript.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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