Reduce Body Weight and Improve Health in the Obese with Mindfulness

Reduce Body Weight and Improve Health in the Obese with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness practice helps individuals develop skills for self-regulation by improving awareness of emotional and sensory cues, which are also important in altering one’s relationship with food.” – Sunil Daniel

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to obese individuals. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)  involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy That is designed to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. This suggests that MBCT may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of mindfulness based cognitive therapy on weight loss, improvement of hypertension and attentional bias to eating cues in overweight people.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031128/), Alamout and colleagues recruited women who were adult (aged 30-50) and overweight (BMI of 25-30) and randomly assigned them to receive either no treatment or a diet providing 800 Kcal less than their normal intake, or the diet plus once a week for 2 hours for 8 weeks Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) along with daily home practice. They were measured before and after treatment and 4 weeks later for body size and blood pressure. Attention bias was measured by asking participants to respond as quickly as they can to words and pictures that were food related or neutral.

 

They found that after the intervention there was a significant reduction in body weight and body mass index in the diet groups in comparison to the no treatment control. But, the groups that received diet plus Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) had significantly greater reductions that were maintained 4 weeks after treatment. Attentional bias toward food cues and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly reduced in the diet plus MBCT group only and these reductions were maintained 4 weeks after treatment.

 

These findings are interesting and potentially significant. Weight loss is difficult to attain and even more difficult to maintain after the cessation of treatment. The findings suggest that the addition of mindfulness training to diet therapy greatly enhances the benefits. It has been previously demonstrated that mindfulness training reduces blood pressure. The reductions in blood pressure observed in the present study suggest that the mindfulness training reduces the responses to stress. It has been shown that stress can promote food intake. So, the reduction in stress responding may make it easier to maintain the diet.

 

The combination of diet and mindfulness training appears to alter how overweight women respond to food related cues. This may, in part, be responsible for the increased effectiveness of diet plus mindfulness training. It may make it easier for the women to refrain from responding to food cues and thereby be better able to stay on the diet. In other words, it makes them less responsive to temptation.

 

So, reduce body weight and improve health in the obese with mindfulness.

 

Adults with overweight or obesity who participated in mindfulness-based intervention experienced at least 3% weight loss that persisted through follow-up, with a reduction in disordered eating behaviors.” – Kimberly Carriere

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Alamout, M. M., Rahmanian, M., Aghamohammadi, V., Mohammadi, E., & Nasiri, K. (2019). Effectiveness of mindfulness based cognitive therapy on weight loss, improvement of hypertension and attentional bias to eating cues in overweight people. International journal of nursing sciences, 7(1), 35–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2019.12.010

 

Abstract

Objectives

Prevalence rates of overweight and obesity are dramatically ever-increasing across the world. Therefore, this study was to evaluate the effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on weight loss, hypertension, and attentional bias towards food cues in a group of women affected with this condition.

Methods

A total of 45 participants were selected out of women referring to the Nutrition and Diet Therapy Clinic affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran, and then randomized into three groups of 15. The first experimental group was subjected to an energy-restricted diet therapy together with MBCT during 8 sessions, the second group took the diet therapy alone, and the third group received no intervention. Body mass index (BMI), hypertension, and attentional bias towards food cues were correspondingly evaluated before, at the end, and four weeks after the completion of the interventions.

Results

The results of this study revealed that MBCT, along with diet therapy, had been significantly more effective in weight loss, decrease in BMI, lower systolic blood pressure (SBP), and attentional bias towards food cues compared with the diet therapy alone (P ≤ 0.01). MBCT had no significant impact on the decline in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in participants in the follow-up phase.

Conclusion

This study demonstrated that MBCT along with the conventional diet therapy was more effective in weight loss, decrease in BMI, hypertension control, as well as attentional bias towards food cues than the diet therapy alone.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031128/

 

Improve Body Size, Endocrine Function, and Anxiety in Anxious Obese Children with Mindfulness

Improve Body Size, Endocrine Function, and Anxiety in Anxious Obese Children with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness is a promising tool to be used as an adjunctive therapy for childhood obesity, either because of its potential to decrease stress or because it could counter act the stressful condition imposed by a restrictive dietary regimen,” – Mardia López-Alarcón

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Sadly, children and adolescents have not been spared with 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) classified as obese.

 

Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity in children alone or in combination with other therapies. It would seem reasonable to attack the problem early in life with the children and adolescents. Hence, the benefits of mindfulness practice for obese children should be investigated.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness affects stress, ghrelin, and BMI of obese children: a clinical trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7040861/), López-Alarcón and colleagues recruited obese children and adolescents aged 10-17 years who scored high in anxiety levels and provided them with an 8-week, once a week for a half hour conventional nutritional intervention including recommendations for a 700 Kcal reduction in intake. They were then randomly assigned to receive either no further treatment or to receive an 8-week, once a week for 2 hours Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction-Eat Mindful program based upon the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program consisting on training in meditation, body scan, breathing exercises, mindful eating, and discussions of using mindfulness in everyday life. They were measured before and after the program and 8 weeks later for body size, perceived stress, and anxiety. Blood was drawn and assayed for insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin and a salivary sample was assayed for cortisol levels.

 

They found that in comparison to the baseline and the nutritional intervention only, the children and adolescents who received mindfulness training had significant reduction in anxiety levels of all forms, including phobias, generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and separation anxiety. Also, there were significant reductions in body fat, cortisol, and ghrelin levels. In addition, at the 8- and 16-week follow-ups there were significant reductions in body size.

 

These are exciting results. Childhood obesity is major problem and the results of this study suggests that a mindfulness training program combined with a conventional nutritional intervention is safe and effective in improving the physical and psychological effects of obesity and in reducing body size. Mindfulness interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety in adults. But these programs have been found to have only small or mixed effectiveness in the treatment of adult obesity. But the present results suggest that mindfulness interventions may be particularly effective when applied to obese children and adolescents. A long-term follow up of these children is needed to determine the long-term effectiveness of mindfulness training.

 

So, improve body size, endocrine function, and anxiety in anxious obese children with mindfulness.

 

We think mindfulness could recalibrate the imbalance in the brain connections associated with childhood obesity,” – Ronald Cowan

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

López-Alarcón, M., Zurita-Cruz, J. N., Torres-Rodríguez, A., Bedia-Mejía, K., Pérez-Güemez, M., Jaramillo-Villanueva, L., Rendón-Macías, M. E., Fernández, J. R., & Martínez-Maroñas, P. (2020). Mindfulness affects stress, ghrelin, and BMI of obese children: a clinical trial. Endocrine connections, 9(2), 163–172. https://doi.org/10.1530/EC-19-0461

 

Abstract

Childhood obesity is associated with stress. However, most treatment strategies include only dietary and physical activity approaches. Mindfulness may assist in weight reduction, but its effectiveness is unclear. We assessed the effect of mindfulness on stress, appetite regulators, and weight of children with obesity and anxiety. A clinical study was conducted in a pediatric hospital. Eligible children were 10–14 years old, BMI ≥95th percentile, Spence anxiety score ≥55, and who were not taking any medication or supplementation. Participants were assigned to receive an 8-week conventional nutritional intervention (CNI) or an 8-week mindfulness-based intervention plus CNI (MND-CNI). Anthropometry, body composition, leptin, insulin, ghrelin, cortisol, and Spence scores were measured at baseline and at the end of the intervention. Anthropometry was analyzed again 8 weeks after concluding interventions. Log-transformed and delta values were calculated for analysis. Thirty-three MND-CNI and 12 CNI children finished interventions; 17 MND-CNI children accomplished 16 weeks. At the end of the intervention, significant reductions in anxiety score (−6.21 ± 1.10), BMI (−0.45 ± 1.2 kg/m2), body fat (−1.28 ± 0.25%), ghrelin (−0.71 ± 0.37 pg/mL), and serum cortisol (−1.42 ± 0.94 µg/dL) were observed in MND-CNI children. Changes in anxiety score, ghrelin, and cortisol were different between groups (P < 0.05). Children who completed 16 weeks decreased BMI after intervention (−0.944 ± 0.20 kg/m2, P < 0.001) and remained lower 8 weeks later (−0.706 ± 0.19 kg/m2, P = 0.001). We concluded that mindfulness is a promising tool as an adjunctive therapy for childhood obesity. However, our findings need confirmation in a larger sample population.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7040861/

 

Improve Cardiopulmonary Health Over the Long Haul in Obese Elderly with Tai Chi

Improve Cardiopulmonary Health Over the Long Haul in Obese Elderly with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Research has found that seniors who regularly practice tai chi are steadier on their feet, less likely to suffer high blood pressure, and physically stronger.  Tai chi has been known to improve hand/eye coordination, increase circulation, and can even promote a better night’s sleep.” – Chris Corregall

 

Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and diabetes. Overweight and abdominal obesity are associated with high blood pressure, insulin resistance and elevation of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. It is highly associated with pulmonary problems and type-2 diabetes. Obesity incidence has been rising rapidly and it currently affects over a third of U.S. adults. The simplest treatment is simply exercise and weight loss. Also, mindfulness techniques have been shown to be effective in treating Metabolic Syndrome.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat the health consequences of obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Tai Chi practice is both an exercise and a mindfulness practice. It has been found to be effective for an array of physical and psychological issues. It appears to strengthen the immune systemreduce inflammation, and improve cardiovascular function. Tai Chi training has also been shown to improve lung function. These findings are encouraging. But little is known about the ability of Tai Chi practice to improve cardiopulmonary function over the long-term.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tai Chi can prevent cardiovascular disease and improve cardiopulmonary function of adults with obesity aged 50 years and older: A long-term follow-up study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824704/), Sun and colleagues recruited healthy obese adults over 50 years of age (average 66 years) and provided them with a health education training. In addition, half the participants received training in Tai Chi 3 times per week for 30-40 minutes. They were measured before and after training and then every 3 to 6 months over 6 years for blood pressure, body size, cardiac function, and lung function.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the health education only group, the Tai Chi group had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, waist and hip circumference, weight, and body mass index, and significant improvements in cardiac and lung function that were maintained for 6 years. In addition, the Tai Chi  group had lower incidences of health complications, lower mortality, and lower rates of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

 

These results are exciting and remarkable. It is exceedingly rare to have such long-term follow-up of the effectiveness of an intervention. The results demonstrate that Tai Chi practice can be safely maintained over very long periods of time and produce sustained benefits for the health of the elderly. It’s important to note that Tai Chi is gentle and safe, appropriate for all ages, and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice.

 

So, improve cardiopulmonary health over the long haul in obese elderly with Tai Chi.

 

Practising the ancient martial art of Tai Chi is so beneficial to elderly people’s health that it should be “the preferred mode of training”” – The Telegraph

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sun, L., Zhuang, L. P., Li, X. Z., Zheng, J., & Wu, W. F. (2019). Tai Chi can prevent cardiovascular disease and improve cardiopulmonary function of adults with obesity aged 50 years and older: A long-term follow-up study. Medicine, 98(42), e17509. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000017509

 

Abstract

To research the possible role of Tai Chi in preventing cardiovascular disease and improving cardiopulmonary function in adults with obesity aged 50 years and older.

Between 2007 and 2012, 120 adults with obesity, aged 50 years and older, were divided into a Tai Chi group and a control group, with 60 participants in each group. The 2 groups were evaluated for weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, blood pressure (BP), body mass index, and incidence of chronic disease during follow-up monitoring.

Two- and 6-year follow-up showed that the average BP in the Tai Chi group along with either the systolic or diastolic pressure decreased significantly compared to those in the control group (P < .001). Waist and hip circumference, weight, and body mass index in the Tai Chi group were significantly reduced compared to those in the control group (P < .001). The cardiopulmonary function of the control group and the Tai Chi group changed, with the cardiac index significantly higher in the Tai Chi group than in the control group (P < .05). The Tai Chi group had significantly higher levels of lung function, including vital capacity, maximal oxygen uptake, and total expiratory time, than the control group. The total incidence of complications and mortality in the Tai Chi group were much lower than those in the control group (P < .001). The incidence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease in the Tai Chi group (16.67%) was lower than that in the control group (38.33%).

Tai Chi is not only a suitable exercise for elderly people with obesity, but it can also help to regulate BP, improve heart and lung function in these individuals, as well as reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases, helping to improve their quality of life.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824704/

 

Overweight and Obese Yoga Practitioners have a Higher Quality of Life

Overweight and Obese Yoga Practitioners have a Higher Quality of Life

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Doing yoga decreases stress, improves flexibility, and increases muscle tone and strength. People with larger bodies often have trouble with joint pain; yoga can help by improving the body’s alignment to reduce strain on joints by allowing the frame to bear more of the body’s weight.” – Ann Pizer

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to obese individuals. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies. Yoga may be particularly beneficial for the obese as it is both a mindfulness practice and an exercise. Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of physical and psychological benefits. These include significant loss in weight and body mass index (BMI), resting metabolism, and body fat in obese women with Type 2 diabetes and improve health in the obese.

 

In today’s Research News article “Quality of Life in Yoga Experienced and Yoga Naïve Asian Indian Adults with Obesity.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515061/), Telles and colleagues recruited overweight and obese (BMI>25) adults (aged 20-59 years) and assessed them for participation in yoga practice and their quality of life, including general self-esteem, enjoyment in physical activities, satisfactory social contacts, satisfaction concerning work, sexual pleasure, and focus on eating behavior.

 

They found that in comparison to non-participants in yoga practice, the yoga participants had significantly higher overall quality of life including higher levels of general self-esteem, enjoyment in physical activities, satisfactory social contacts, and satisfaction concerning work. Hence, participation in yoga practice was found to be associated with significantly higher quality of life in overweight and obese individuals.

 

These findings are correlational and causation cannot be determined. It is possible that yoga practice causes improved quality of life, or that people with high quality of life tend to engage in yoga practice, or that some other factor, e.g. affluence, large social network, results in higher levels of both. Nevertheless, it is clear that practicing yoga is associated with better, more enjoyable lives, that overweight and obese yoga practitioners have a higher quality of life.

 

“’I think yoga can be a wonderful form of movement that bigger-bodied people can adapt for themselves.’ For folks carrying more weight, low-impact exercises like yoga may be more comfortable than, say, running on the pavement.” – Laura McMullen

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Telles, S., Sharma, S. K., Singh, A., Kala, N., Upadhyay, V., Arya, J., & Balkrishna, A. (2019). Quality of Life in Yoga Experienced and Yoga Naïve Asian Indian Adults with Obesity. Journal of obesity, 2019, 9895074. doi:10.1155/2019/9895074

 

Abstract

Background

Obesity adversely affects quality of life which then acts as a barrier to weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Hence, those interventions which positively influence the quality of life along with weight reduction are considered useful for sustained weight loss in persons with obesity. An earlier study showed better quality of life in obese adults who had experience of yoga compared to yoga naïve obese adults. However, the main limitation of the study was the small sample size (n=20 in each group).

Objective

The present study aimed to determine whether with larger sample sizes the quality of life would differ in yoga experienced compared to yoga naïve adults with obesity.

Methods

There were 596 Asian Indian obese adults (age range 20 to 59 years; group mean age ± SD; 43.9 ± 9.9 years): of whom (i) 298 were yoga experienced (154 females; group mean age ± SD; 44.0 ± 9.8 years) with a minimum of 1 month of experience in yoga practice and (ii) 298 were yoga naïve (154 females; group mean age ± SD; 43.8 ± 10.0 years). All the participants were assessed for quality of life using the Moorehead–Ardelt quality of life questionnaire II. Data were drawn from a larger nationwide trial which assessed the effects of yoga compared to nutritional advice on obesity over a one-year follow-up period (CTRI/2018/05/014077).

Results

There were higher participant-reported outcomes for four out of six aspects of quality of life in the yoga experienced compared to the yoga naïve (p < 0.008, based on t values of the least squares linear regression analyses, Bonferroni adjusted, and adjusted for age, gender, and BMI as covariates). These were enjoyment in physical activities, ability to work, self-esteem, and social satisfaction.

Conclusion

Obese adults with yoga experience appear to have better quality of life in specific aspects, compared to yoga naïve persons with a comparable degree of obesity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515061/

 

Improve Eating Behavior in Obese Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

Improve Eating Behavior in Obese Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindful eating helps you distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. It also increases your awareness of food-related triggers and gives you the freedom to choose your response to them.” – Adda Bjarnadottir

 

Eating is produced by two categories of signals. Homeostatic signals emerge from the body’s need for nutrients, is associated with feelings of hunger, and usually work to balance intake with expenditure. Non-homeostatic eating, on the other hand, is not tied to nutrient needs or hunger but rather to the environment, to emotional states, and or to the pleasurable and rewarding qualities of food. These cues can be powerful signals to eat even when there is no physical need for food. External eating is non-homeostatic eating in response to the environmental stimuli that surround us, including the sight and smell of food or the sight of food related cause such as the time of day or a fast food restaurant ad or sign.

 

Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating while it is occurring, including attention to the sight, smell, flavors, and textures of food, to the process of chewing and may help reduce intake. Indeed, high levels of mindfulness are associated with lower levels of obesity and mindfulness training has been shown to reduce binge eating, emotional eating, and external eating.

 

A mindfulness training technique that was developed to treat addictions called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) involves 10 weekly sessions of 2 hours and includes mindful breathing and body scan meditations, cognitive reappraisal to decrease negative emotions and craving, and savoring to augment natural reward processing and positive emotion. Participants are also encouraged to practice at home for 15 minutes per day. It is not known if MORE is effective in changing eating behavior in obese women cancer survivors.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Restructures Reward Processing and Promotes Interoceptive Awareness in Overweight Cancer Survivors: Mechanistic Results From a Stage 1 Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6552347/), Thomas and colleagues recruited obese (BMI >30) women who had a cancer diagnosis either current or in remission. They were randomly assigned to receive a 10-week, 1.5-hour session, once per week, of either a standard exercise and nutrition program or the Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) program. The participants were measured before and after the program for body composition, eating behaviors, interoceptive awareness, savoring the moment, and attention bias toward food. In addition, they were measured for muscular electrical responses to food and non-food pictures to assess responsiveness to cues.

They found that in comparison to baseline and the exercise and nutrition program Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) produced significantly greater increases in smiling to natural reward cues, and interoceptive awareness including increases in noticing body sensations, attention regulation, self-regulation, and body listening, and significant decreases in attentional responsiveness to food cues and external eating. Using a path analysis, they found that MORE had its effects on attentional responsiveness to food cues directly and also indirectly by its positive effects on attention bias toward natural reward cues that, in turn, negatively affected their responsiveness to food cues. Finally, these decreases in attentional responsiveness to food cues were related to decreases in the participants’ waist to hip ratio.

 

These results are interesting and suggest that Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) may reduce inappropriate responsiveness to food in obese women with cancer by increasing their awareness of their internal state (interoceptive awareness) and their responsiveness to natural reward cues. Hence, the training makes the women more sensitive to their actual internal state which makes them more responsive to real hunger and satiety and less responsive to non-homeostatic eating signals. In addition, it appears to allow them to receive more reward from non-food related natural stimuli and thereby reduce their need to receive reward through eating. Thus, MORE appears to improve obese women’s ability to better regulate their eating behavior.

 

So, improve eating behavior in obese cancer survivors with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness practice helps individuals develop skills for self-regulation by improving awareness of emotional and sensory cues, which are also important in altering one’s relationship with food.” –  Sunil Daniel

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Thomas, E. A., Mijangos, J. L., Hansen, P. A., White, S., Walker, D., Reimers, C., … Garland, E. L. (2019). Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Restructures Reward Processing and Promotes Interoceptive Awareness in Overweight Cancer Survivors: Mechanistic Results From a Stage 1 Randomized Controlled Trial. Integrative cancer therapies, 18, 1534735419855138. doi:10.1177/1534735419855138

 

Abstract

Introduction: The primary aims of this Stage I pilot randomized controlled trial were to establish the feasibility of integrating exercise and nutrition counseling with Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), a novel intervention that unites training in mindfulness, reappraisal, and savoring skills to target mechanisms underpinning appetitive dysregulation a pathogenic process that contributes to obesity among cancer survivors; to identify potential therapeutic mechanisms of the MORE intervention; and to obtain effect sizes to power a subsequent Stage II trial. Methods: Female overweight and obese cancer survivors (N = 51; mean age = 57.92 ± 10.04; 88% breast cancer history; 96% white) were randomized to one of two 10-week study treatment conditions: (a) exercise and nutrition counseling or (b) exercise and nutrition counseling plus the MORE intervention. Trial feasibility was assessed via recruitment and retention metrics. Measures of therapeutic mechanisms included self-reported interoceptive awareness, maladaptive eating behaviors, and savoring, as well as natural reward responsiveness and food attentional bias, which were evaluated as psychophysiological mechanisms. Results: Feasibility was demonstrated by 82% of participants who initiated MORE receiving a full dose of the intervention. Linear mixed models revealed that the addition of MORE led to significantly greater increases in indices of interoceptive awareness, savoring, and natural reward responsiveness, and, significantly greater decreases in external eating behaviors and food attentional bias—the latter of which was significantly associated with decreases in waist-to-hip ratio. Path analysis demonstrated that the effect of MORE on reducing food attentional bias was mediated by increased zygomatic electromyographic activation during attention to natural rewards. Conclusions and Implications: MORE may target appetitive dysregulatory mechanisms implicated in obesity by promoting interoceptive awareness and restructuring reward responsiveness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6552347/

 

Improve Eating Control and Binge Eating with Mindfulness

Improve Eating Control and Binge Eating with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

self-compassion—a necessary component of healing from any eating disorder. Women who binge often feel shame and guilt about their behavior. “Women hear all the time that lack of willpower made you fat, made you binge. That message is that if you do binge, you’re bad,” – Kelly McDonigal

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25).

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity.

 

Eating disorders are common in the obese. Around 30 million people in the United States of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder; either anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are not just troubling psychological problems, they can be deadly, having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Eating disorders can be difficult to treat because eating is necessary and cannot be simply stopped as in smoking cessation or abstaining from drugs or alcohol. One must learn to eat appropriately not stop. So, it is important to find methods that can help prevent and treat eating disorders. Contemplative practices, mindfulness, and mindful eating have shown promise for treating eating disorders. Hence, it makes sense to study the relationships of mindfulness with eating disorders in obese individuals.

 

In today’s Research News article “Less Binge Eating and Loss of Control over Eating Are Associated with Greater Levels of Mindfulness: Identifying Patterns in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523377/), Smith and colleagues recruited obese postmenopausal women (aged 45-65 years). They were measured for mindfulness, eating disorders, and control of eating.

 

They found that mindfulness was negatively related to binge eating and loss of control over eating. This was true for four of the five facets of mindfulness, describe, acting with awareness, non-judging, and non-reacting, but not observing. Participants with low levels of binge eating had high levels of mindfulness.

 

These results are correlational and causation cannot be concluded. But prior studies have shown that mindfulness training reduces the levels of eating disorders. So, it is likely that the current results resulted from this causal relationship. This study demonstrates that the eating disorder of binge eating is related to low levels of mindfulness in postmenopausal obese women and this is also related to loss of control over eating. This suggests that training in mindfulness may be helpful to these women in establishing control of their eating and reduce binge eating.

 

So, improve eating control and binge eating with mindfulness.

 

“By taking more conscious control over what, how and when you binge you increase your ability to control your behaviors and to make better dietary choices in general.” – John Lee

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Smith, V. M., Seimon, R. V., Harris, R. A., Sainsbury, A., & da Luz, F. Q. (2019). Less Binge Eating and Loss of Control over Eating Are Associated with Greater Levels of Mindfulness: Identifying Patterns in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 9(4), 36. doi:10.3390/bs9040036

 

Abstract

Obesity is a public health concern resulting in widespread personal, social, and economic burden. Many individuals with obesity report feeling unable to stop eating or to control their food intake (i.e., a loss of control over eating) despite their best efforts. Experiencing loss of control over eating predicts further eating pathology and is a key feature of binge eating. Mindfulness (i.e., awareness and acceptance of current thoughts, feelings, sensations, and surrounding events) has emerged as a potential strategy to treat such eating disorder behaviors, but it is not known whether there is merit in investigating this strategy to address binge eating in postmenopausal women with obesity. Thus, this study aimed to examine the relationships between binge eating and mindfulness in postmenopausal women with obesity seeking weight loss treatment. Participants (n = 101) were assessed with the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, the Loss of Control over Eating Scale, the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, and the Langer Mindfulness Scale. Participants´ overall scores on both mindfulness scales were significantly and negatively correlated with binge eating frequency or the severity of loss of control over eating. Moreover, participants who reported fewer binge eating episodes were significantly more mindful than those who reported greater frequencies of binge eating episodes within the past 28 days. These findings suggest a merit in investigating the use of mindfulness-based therapies to treat binge eating in postmenopausal women with obesity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523377/

 

Improve Obesity with Metabolic Syndrome with Yoga Practice

 

Improve Obesity with Metabolic Syndrome with Yoga Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“I think yoga can be a wonderful form of movement that bigger-bodied people can adapt for themselves.” For folks carrying more weight, low-impact exercises like yoga may be more comfortable than, say, running on the pavement. And most postures can be modified to fit your body. Plus, yoga isn’t that cycling class with the drill sergeant instructor. The mental component of yoga—the deep breathing, positive meditation and awareness—can boost confidence for people of all waistlines. “Yoga helps give you insight, and perhaps that insight can help you make better choices and eliminate negative self-talk,” – Laura McMullen

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Metabolic Syndrome is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It generally results from overweight and abdominal obesity and includes high blood pressure, insulin resistance and elevation of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. It is highly associated with obesity and type-2 diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome incidence has been rising rapidly and it currently affects 34% of U.S. adults. The simplest treatment is simply exercise and weight loss. Also, mindfulness techniques have been shown to be effective in treating Metabolic Syndrome.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity and metabolic syndrome. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of physical and psychological benefits. These include significant loss in weight and body mass index (BMI), resting metabolism, and body fat in obese women with Type 2 diabetes and improve health in the obese. In addition, it has the added benefit of being a gentle exercise. Hence it would seem reasonable to further investigate the benefits of yoga practice on the weight and body composition of the obese with metabolic syndrome.

 

In today’s Research News article “One Year of Yoga Training Alters Ghrelin Axis in Centrally Obese Adults With Metabolic Syndrome.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6158302/ ), Yu and colleagues studied the effects of 1-year of yoga practice on the metabolic hormones that are involved in body weight and metabolism. They selected from a previous study yoga trained and control participants who were obese and were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Hatha yoga practice occurred for 1 hour, 3 times per week for 1 year. They were measured before and after training for waist circumference, blood pressure, heart rate, physical performance, and blood levels of glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, and cholesterol. In addition, the blood was assayed for peptides including insulin, markers of insulin resistance, ghrelin, obestatin, and growth hormone.

 

They found that the yoga group had a significantly greater decrease in waist circumference, 4%, compared to controls who had a 2% increase in waist circumference. The yoga group also had significantly greater improvements in resting heart rate and physical performance than the control group. Hence, yoga practice improves body size, physical ability and cardiovascular function in obese individuals with metabolic syndrome.

 

In addition, yoga training produced significantly greater decrease in the peptide obestatin and increases in growth hormone and ghrelin. High levels of obestatin and low levels of ghrelin and growth hormone have been found to be associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Hence, yoga practice produced a trend toward normalization of these hormones associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

 

These results suggest that yoga practice is beneficial for people with obesity and metabolic syndrome, improving their body size, and physical performance, and tending to normalize their metabolic hormonal state. This further suggests that practicing yoga may reduce risk factors and improve the long-term health of the obese with metabolic syndrome. Future research should compare the effectiveness of yoga practice to other exercise programs.

 

So, improve obesity with metabolic syndrome with yoga practice.

 

 “Yoga is a powerful activity that connects mind, body and a sense of self to achieve endless health benefits, including maintaining weight-loss. The philosophy of yoga fosters a healing practice that brings peace and acceptance to the self no matter where you are in your life. There are no prerequisites for yoga. You are not required to look a certain way, fold yourself into a tricky asana (pose), or even be at a certain level of flexibility.” – Laurel Dierking

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Yu, A. P., Ugwu, F. N., Tam, B. T., Lee, P. H., Lai, C. W., Wong, C., Lam, W. W., Sheridan, S., … Siu, P. M. (2018). One Year of Yoga Training Alters Ghrelin Axis in Centrally Obese Adults With Metabolic Syndrome. Frontiers in physiology, 9, 1321. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.01321

 

Abstract

Introduction: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a multiplex cardiometabolic manifestation associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Yoga training has been shown to alleviate MetS. Recently, circulatory ghrelin profile was demonstrated to be associated with MetS. This study examined the effects of 1 year of yoga training on β-cell function and insulin resistance, and the involvement of metabolic peptides, including unacylated ghrelin (UnAG), acylated ghrelin (AG), obestatin, growth hormone (GH), and insulin, in the beneficial effects of yoga training in centrally obese adults with MetS.

Methods: This was a follow up study, in which data of risk factors of MetS, physical performance tests [resting heart rate (HR), chair stand test (CS), chair sit and reach test (CSR), back scratch test (BS), and single leg stand tests (SLS)] and serum samples of 79 centrally obese MetS subjects aged 58 ± 8 years (39 subjects received 1-year yoga training and 40 subjects received no training) were retrieved for analyses. β-cell function and insulin resistance were examined by Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA). Circulating levels of UnAG, AG, obestatin, GH, and insulin were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using fasting serum samples. Generalized estimating equation analysis and Mann–Whitney U-test were used to detect statistically significant differences between groups.

Results: Waist circumference (WC) was significantly decreased after yoga intervention (control: +2%; yoga: -4%). Significant improvements in HR (control: +2%; yoga: -5%), CS (control: -1%; yoga: +24%), CSR left (control: worsen by 0.90 cm; yoga: improved by 4.21 cm), CSR right (control: worsen by 0.75 cm; yoga: improved by 4.28 cm), right side of BS (control: improved by 0.19 cm; yoga: improved by 4.31 cm), SLS left (control: -10%; yoga: +86%), and SLS right (control: -6%; yoga: +47%) were observed after 1-year yoga training. No significant difference was found between the two groups in insulin, HOMA indices, and disposition index. Yoga training significantly increased circulating GH (control: -3%; yoga: +22%), total circulating ghrelin (control: -26%; yoga: +13%), and UnAG (control: -27%; yoga: +14%), whereas decreased AG (control: -7%; yoga: -33%) and obestatin (control: +24%; yoga: -29%).

Conclusion: One-year of yoga training modulated total ghrelin, UnAG, AG, obestatin, and GH while exerting beneficial effects on physical functions and central obesity in adults with MetS. The beneficial effects of yoga may be associated with the alteration of ghrelin gene product and GH.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6158302/

 

Improve Eating Regulation and Emotions in the Obese with Mindfulness

Improve Eating Regulation and Emotions in the Obese with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Researchers are learning that teaching obese individuals mindful eating skills—like paying closer attention to their bodies’ hunger cues and learning to savor their food—can help them change unhealthy eating patterns and lose weight. And, unlike other forms of treatment, mindfulness may get at the underlying causes of overeating—like craving, stress, and emotional eating—which make it so hard to defeat.” – Jill Suttie

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25). Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. Mindfulness training is also known to increase spirituality. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating, overweight, and obesity. The relationship of spirituality to mindfulness and eating has not been previously explored.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindful Eating: Connecting With the Wise Self, the Spiritual Self.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01271/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_755938_69_Psycho_20180904_arts_A ), Kristeller and colleagues recruited obese adults (BMI>35) and randomly assigned them to either receive Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-Eat) or to a wait-list control condition. Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-Eat) was delivered in 12, 2-hour sessions, once a week for 10 weeks and 2 monthly booster sessions. The participants were trained in meditation, including general mindfulness meditation, guided eating meditations, and “mini-meditations” used at meal time and throughout the day. They also received instructions on recognizing inner experiences related to hunger and food intake and also on nutritional and healthy eating. Participants were measured before, during and immediately after training and also at 1, 2, and 4 months later for eating and weight related issues, emotional regulation, state mindfulness, depression, anxiety, and spiritual well-being.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list group, the participants who received Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-Eat) had increased spiritual well-being particularly in the meaning/peace and faith factors that continued to grow all the way to the 2-month follow-up. They also found that the greater the increase in the meaning/peace and faith factors, the greater the decrease in depression, anxiety, and binge eating. Finally, they performed a mediation analysis that showed that increases in mindfulness were associated with decreases in both depression and binge eating directly and indirectly by being associated with increases in spiritual well-being meaning/peace which in turn was significantly related to decreases in both depression and binge eating.

 

These results suggest that obese individuals benefit from Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-Eat) training by developing mindfulness which helps develop spiritual well-being and these factors both contribute to an improved emotional state and less disordered eating. It appears that the effect of mindfulness on the benefits is in part mediated by spiritual well-being. Mindfulness training has been shown previously to improve eating behavior and reduce depression. This study, however, is the first to indicate that the effectiveness of mindfulness is in part due to its effects on the individual’s spirituality.

 

So, improve eating regulation and emotions in the obese with mindfulness.

 

 

“Some of the simplest, safest lessons to help adolescents combat obesity may be raising their awareness of what they are eating and whether they are even hungry.” – Phil Jones

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Kristeller JL and Jordan KD (2018) Mindful Eating: Connecting With the Wise Self, the Spiritual Self. Front. Psychol. 9:1271. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01271

 

In the Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training program (MB-EAT) (Kristeller and Wolever, 2014Kristeller and Woleverin press), mindfulness practice is taught, mindful eating is cultivated, and self-acceptance and spiritual well-being are enhanced. An integrative concept is the value of cultivating ‘wisdom’ in regard to creating a new and sustainable relationship to eating and food. ‘Wisdom’ refers to drawing on personal experience and understanding in a flexible, insightful manner, rather than strictly following external rules and guidelines. Several clinical trials involving variations of MB-EAT have documented substantive improvement in how people relate to their eating, including individuals with both binge eating disorder (BED) and subclinical eating issues. Based on the traditional value of contemplative practices for cultivating spiritual engagement, and on evidence from related research showing that spiritual well-being increases in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program and is related to other effects, we hypothesized that the MB-EAT program would also engage this aspect of experience, as assessed by the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy – Spiritual Well-Being subscale (FACIT-Sp), and that increases in spiritual well-being would relate to other measures of adjustment such as emotional balance and improvement in disordered eating. Participants (N = 117) with moderate to morbid obesity, including 25.6% with BED, were randomly assigned to MB-EAT or a wait-list control, and assessed on the FACIT-Sp and other measures at baseline, immediate post (IP), and 2-month followup (F/Up). Both FACIT-Sp factors [Meaning/Peace (M/P) and Faith] increased significantly in the MB-EAT group and were stable/decreased in the control group. Increases in these factors related to improvement in emotional adjustment and eating regulation at IP and at F/Up, and to increases in aspects of mindfulness measured by the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Increases in M/P during treatment mediated effects of the FFMQ Observe factor on eating regulation and depression at IP. Results are discussed in terms of the role that mindfulness practice plays in cultivating ‘wise mind’ and the related value of spirituality. It is argued that the core elements of the MB-EAT program lead to meaningful spiritual engagement, which plays a role in people’s ability to improve and maintain overall self-regulation.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01271/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_755938_69_Psycho_20180904_arts_A

 

Improve Emotion Regulation and Gait in Obese Adolescents with Yoga

Improve Emotion Regulation and Gait in Obese Adolescents with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

consider how stressful it must be in this image driven media age to be an overweight or obese child or teen. The well documented stress reduction factors of yoga practice are a powerful start to transforming health for youth suffering with the debilitating disease of obesity.” – Abby Wills

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Sadly, children and adolescents have not been spared with 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) classified as obese.

 

Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies. Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of physical and psychological benefits. These include significant loss in weight and body mass index (BMI), resting metabolism, and body fat in obese women with Type 2 diabetes and improve health in the obese.

 

It would seem reasonable to attack the problem early in life with the children and adolescents. Hence it would seem reasonable to investigate the benefits of yoga practice obese youths. In today’s Research News article “A Pilot Study of Iyengar Yoga for Pediatric Obesity: Effects on Gait and Emotional Functioning.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068554/ ), Hainsworth and colleagues recruited obese adolescents (11 to 18 years of age) and provided them with an 8-week Iyengar yoga training occurring for 60 minutes twice a week. Before and after training they were measured for walking gait, health-related quality of life, pain, physical activity over 2-3 days, and acceptability of the yoga program.

 

They found significant improvements in gait, including improvements in hip, knee, and ankle joint movements during walking. There were also significant improvements in health-related quality of life and psychosocial and emotional functioning. No changes in weight or physical activity were noted. Hence, a brief yoga training was found to improve the gait, quality of life, and psychological health of obese adolescents.

 

This was a small, relatively brief trial without a control group. So, caution should be exercised in reaching conclusions. Because it involved a small number of adolescents and lasted only 8 weeks, it would have been surprising to have found changes in body weight. A longer trial would be needed. But the results are encouraging and suggest that yoga practice is a safe and effective treatment for obese adolescents. They suggest that a larger, randomized controlled clinical trial should be performed.

 

So, improve emotion regulation and gait in obese adolescents with yoga.

 

 “We found that those who were practicing yoga showed an improvement in their body satisfaction over the previous five years, and that the improvement was particularly strong among those who had a low level of body satisfaction to begin with — suggesting that those in greatest need can benefit from this practice,” – Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Hainsworth, K. R., Liu, X. C., Simpson, P. M., Swartz, A. M., Linneman, N., Tran, S. T., … Weisman, S. J. (2018). A Pilot Study of Iyengar Yoga for Pediatric Obesity: Effects on Gait and Emotional Functioning. Children, 5(7), 92. http://doi.org/10.3390/children5070092

 

Abstract

Obesity negatively impacts the kinematics and kinetics of the lower extremities in children and adolescents. Although yoga has the potential to provide several distinct benefits for children with obesity, this is the first study to examine the benefits of yoga for gait (primary outcome) in youths with obesity. Secondary outcomes included health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical activity, and pain. Feasibility and acceptability were also assessed. Nine youths (11–17 years) participated in an eight-week Iyengar yoga intervention (bi-weekly 1-h classes). Gait, HRQOL (self and parent-proxy reports), and physical activity were assessed at baseline and post-yoga. Pain was self-reported at the beginning of each class. Significant improvements were found in multiple gait parameters, including hip, knee, and ankle motion and moments. Self-reported and parent-proxy reports of emotional functioning significantly improved. Time spent in physical activity and weight did not change. This study demonstrates that a relatively brief, non-invasive Iyengar yoga intervention can result in improved malalignment of the lower extremities during ambulation, as well as in clinically meaningful improvements in emotional functioning. This study extends current evidence that supports a role for yoga in pediatric obesity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068554/

 

Improve Weight Loss in the Overweight with Mindfulness

Improve Weight Loss in the Overweight with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

In our complex, fast-paced world, mindfulness meditation and similar techniques have been recommended to reduce stress, enhance immunity, boost learning, increase productivity and more. New research suggests an important addition to the list: At least three recent studies have suggested that mindful eating can improve weight-loss efforts and combat obesity.” – Amby Burfoot

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25). Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating, overweight, and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With Mindfulness and an Internet Intervention for Obesity: A Case Series.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00056/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_715866_87_Nutrit_20180724_arts_A ), Ogata and colleagues recruited 3 overweight adult women who had previously tried and failed to lose weight. They were provided a program of mindfulness training in combination with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and daily recording of food intake. Treatment occurred in 60-minute weekly meetings for 9 weeks. It was aimed at developing mindfulness and “to increase distress tolerance, improve healthy coping strategies, and reduce maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., avoidant and impulsive coping styles that involve emotional eating); and relearning adaptive eating habits.” The women were measured weekly for body size, eating behaviors, anxiety, and mindfulness and at a follow-up assessment occurring 18 months later.

 

The three participants over the 9-week program lost 6.9%, 5.3%, and 8.9% of their body weight respectively and all had continued to lose weight over the subsequent 18 months; 14.0%, 7.9%, and 11% respectively. The participants also showed significant decreases in emotional and external eating and increases in mindfulness and restrained eating. Hence the mindfulness and CBT program was successful in producing significant and prolonged weigh reductions and altered eating behaviors toward a more restrained eating.

 

There was no control condition so a placebo effect or experimenter bias effect may be present. But, the participants did not lose weight when involved in other dietary programs where comparable placebo and experimenter bias effects would be expected to have been in effect. So, these sources of confounding are unlikely to account for the weight losses.

 

Mindfulness training with CBT has been previously been shown to increase mindful eating and that eating food mindfully can results in lower overall intake and weight loss. The program has also been shown to reduce the psychological and physical responses to stress and stress is known to promote eating. So, it is reasonable to conclude that it produces its effects on the body weight of overweight individuals by increasing mindful eating and reducing stress.

 

So, improve weight loss in the overweight with mindfulness.

 

“Although average weight loss was modest at post-treatment, continued decreases in weight at follow-up is encouraging and highlights the potential of using mindfulness training to support weight loss and its maintenance.” – Regina Schaffer

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ogata K, Koyama KI, Amitani M, Amitani H, Asakawa A and Inui A (2018) The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With Mindfulness and an Internet Intervention for Obesity: A Case Series. Front. Nutr. 5:56. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2018.00056

 

It is difficult for obese (body mass index of more than 30) and overweight (body mass index of 25–30) people to reduce and maintain their weight. The aim of this case series was to examine the effectiveness of a new cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program that combines mindfulness exercises (e.g., the raisin exercise and breathing exercises) and an online intervention to prevent dropout and subsequent weight gain in overweight participants. This case series included three participants, for whom previous weight reduction programs had been unsuccessful. All participants completed the program (60-min, group sessions provided weekly for 9 weeks) and an 18-month follow-up assessment. Results showed that all participants succeeded in losing weight (loss ranged from 5.30 to 8.88% of their total body weight). Although rebound weight gain is commonly observed in the first year following initial weight loss, the follow-up assessment showed that participants achieved further weight loss during the 18-month follow-up period. These results suggest that a CBT program that comprises mindfulness and an online intervention may be an effective method for weight loss and maintenance, and may prevent dropout in obese and overweight individuals.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00056/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_715866_87_Nutrit_20180724_arts_A