Improve Physical and Mental Health in Obesity with Dieting and Yoga Practice

Improve Physical and Mental Health in Obesity with Dieting and Yoga Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

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.” – Abby Lentz

 

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 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 diabetesreduce weight and improve health in the obese. Hence it would seem reasonable to investigate the benefits of yoga in combination with a dietary plan on the weight and body composition of the obese.

 

In today’s Research News article “Twelve Weeks of Yoga or Nutritional Advice for Centrally Obese Adult Females.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107686/ ), Telles and colleagues recruited overweight and obese women (BMI>25) and randomly assigned them to either practice yoga or receive nutrition education. Yoga was practiced for 75 minutes, 3 days per week for 12 weeks and consisted of postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation. Nutrition education occurred for 45 minutes, once a week for 12 weeks. Both groups also were placed on a vegetarian dietary plan consisting in 1900-2000 Kcal per day. Participants were measured before and after training for body size, food intake, physical activity, and quality of life and plasma levels of fats.

 

Both groups saw improvements in body size including reductions in waist circumference, sagittal abdominal diameter, hip circumference, BMI, body shape index, conicity index, abdominal volume index, and body roundness index. Hence, the diet was successful in reducing body size. The groups also showed significant decreases in plasma total cholesterol, and increases in general self-esteem, and total quality of life. The yoga group, however, had a significantly greater reduction in body shape index, and plasma total cholesterol and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). They found that the women between the ages of 30 to 45 years who practiced yoga had the greatest benefits while there was little benefit in the nutritional education group. For the women between the ages of 46 to 59 years both groups showed comparable benefits.

 

These results suggest that overweight and obese women who are dieting show significant improvements in body size, blood fats, and quality of life regardless of whether they receive additional yoga practice or nutritional education, with yoga practice producing slightly better results. But, yoga practice has significantly greater effectiveness for the younger women. This suggests that yoga practice is an effective treatment in combination with dieting for the improvement of obese women’s body size, plasma characteristics, and quality of life, particularly for women between the ages of 30-45 years. This is important as the combination of yoga practice and dieting may be an effective strategy to improve the health and well-being of overweight and obese women.

 

So, improve physical and mental health in obesity with dieting and yoga practice.

 

“Yoga does not offer quick weight loss. However, it does offer long lasting effects. Initially, you may feel that you aren’t making any progress with weight loss but you’ll start feeling more active and alive inside. Eventually, the body will start responding and come back in good shape.” – Art of Living

 

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., Kala, N., Pal, S., Gupta, R. K., & Balkrishna, A. (2018). Twelve Weeks of Yoga or Nutritional Advice for Centrally Obese Adult Females. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 9, 466. http://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2018.00466

 

Abstract

Background: Central obesity is associated with a higher risk of disease. Previously yoga reduced the BMI and waist circumference (WC) in persons with obesity. Additional anthropometric measures and indices predict the risk of developing diseases associated with central obesity. Hence the present study aimed to assess the effects of 12 weeks of yoga or nutritional advice on these measures. The secondary aim was to determine the changes in quality of life (QoL) given the importance of psychological factors in obesity.

Material and Methods: Twenty-six adult females with central obesity in a yoga group (YOG) were compared with 26 adult females in a nutritional advice group (NAG). Yoga was practiced for 75 min/day, 3 days/week and included postures, breathing practices and guided relaxation. The NAG had one 45 min presentation/week on nutrition. Assessments were at baseline and 12 weeks. Data were analyzed with repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc comparisons. Age-wise comparisons were with t-tests.

Results: At baseline and 12 weeks NAG had higher triglycerides and VLDL than YOG. Other comparisons are within the two groups. After 12 weeks NAG showed a significant decrease in WC, hip circumference (HC), abdominal volume index (AVI), body roundness index (BRI), a significant increase in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. YOG had a significant decrease in WC, sagittal abdominal diameter, HC, BMI, WC/HC, a body shape index, conicity index, AVI, BRI, HDL cholesterol, and improved QoL. With age-wise analyses, in the 30–45 years age range the YOG showed most of the changes mentioned above whereas NAG showed no changes. In contrast for the 46–59 years age range most of the changes in the two groups were comparable.

Conclusions: Yoga and nutritional advice with a diet plan can reduce anthropometric measures associated with diseases related to central obesity, with more changes in the YOG. This was greater for the 30–45 year age range, where the NAG showed no change; while changes were comparable for the two groups in the 46–59 year age range. Hence yoga may be especially useful for adult females with central obesity between 30 and 45 years of age.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107686/

 

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

 

Treat Obesity with Mindfulness

Treat Obesity with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“ mindfulness breeds resilience—a quality necessary for one to stick with your diet or exercise regimen. And given how much of our unhealthy eating is essentially mindless—such as stuffing our faces while we watch television—it’s easy to see how simply paying attention could have a significant impact on our diets.” – Tom Jacobs

 

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). 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.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319254/, Asadollahi and colleagues recruited obese (BMI>30) individuals and randomly assigned them to one of four conditions; No-treatment, dietary regimen, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or MBCT plus dietary regimen. MBCT was administered in 2-hour sessions once a week for 8 weeks and consists of mindfulness training and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that is targeted at investigating and altering the individuals aberrant thought process. Participants were measured for psychopathology and anyone with significant pathology was eliminated from the study. The participants were also measured before and after the interventions and 2 months later for body weight and height.

 

They found that mindfulness training alone or a dietary regimen alone produced significant weight losses that persisted 2 months after the end of formal training. When mindfulness training was combined with a dietary regiment the weight loss was significantly greater at the end of training and 2 months later. So, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is effective in reducing weight in obese participants and its effectiveness is amplified by combining it with a dietary regimen. So, mindfulness training can help to reduceobesity alone or in combination with dieting.

 

It is unclear how MBCT produces these positive effects on obesity, but it is known that MBCT can increase mindful eating and that eating food mindfully can results in lower overall intake and weight loss. MBCT is also known to reduce the psychological and physical responses to stress and stress is known to promote eating. So, it is reasonable to conclude that MBCT produces its effects on the body weight of the obese by increasing mindful eating and reducing stress.

 

So, treat obesity with mindfulness.

 

“Mindful eating is eating with purpose, eating on purpose, eating with awareness, eating without distraction, when eating only eating, not watching television or playing computer games or having any other distractions, not eating at our desks.” – Carolyn Dunn

 

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

 

Asadollahi, T., Khakpour, S., Ahmadi, F., Seyedeh, L., Tahami, Matoo, S., & Bermas, H. (2015). Effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people . Journal of Medicine and Life, 8(Spec Iss 4), 114–124.

 

Abstract

The present research was aimed to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people. The research was quasi-experimental with posttest-pretest that used control group. The population consisted of all the individuals who attended two clinics of nutrition advice and diet therapy in Karaj. 60 individuals, whose BMI was more than 30, were selected by using the random sampling method. Moreover, they were evaluated by using the SCL-90 test in order to neglect them in case there existed any other significant disorder. Next, they were selected based on age, sex, and education. After explaining the individuals the ongoing research and collecting the informed consent written by them, the samples were placed in four groups (15 in each group). The groups that received mindfulness training attended the nutrition center for eight to 120-minute sessions. In addition, since all the participants referred to the center were motivated to lose weight, individuals who were placed in the control group and those who received mindfulness training were asked not to follow any specific diet for two months. Moreover, the in depth relaxation CD was prepared for those who asked, in order to train themselves at home. Descriptive statistical methods were employed in order to analyze the data and ANACOVA and variance analysis with frequent measurement were used. The research findings indicated that mindfulness training was accompanied by diet, which resulted in weight loss in obese patients. In addition, the findings of the two-month follow-up indicated lasting results.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319254/

Reduce Obesity with Yoga


Reduce Obesity with Yoga

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

“You get to thinking that yoga and its health benefits, such as stress reduction and improved fitness, are best for thin people, and not so much for the 36 percent of U.S. adults who are obese. Not true. Yoga is for all types of shapes and sizes if you just know how to start.” – Laura McMullen

Obesity is a serious health problem. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population. 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 obesity, alter 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. Hence, it would seem reasonable to investigate the benefits of yoga therapy on the weight and body composition of the obese.

In today’s Research News article “Sleep quality and body composition variations in obese male adults after 14 weeks of yoga intervention: A randomized controlled trial.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2017;volume=10;issue=3;spage=128;epage=137;aulast=Rshikesan, Rshikesan and colleagues recruited obese adult male participants and randomly assigned them to receive either no treatment or integrated yoga therapy for 1½ h for 5 days in a week, for 14 weeks. Yoga therapy includes relaxation, postures, breathing practice, and meditation. They were measured before and after treatment for body composition and sleep quality.

They found that the yoga therapy group had statistically significant reductions in obesity, including body weight, body mass index, and mineral content and increases in sleep quality and efficiency. In addition, there were no adverse events produced by the yoga practice. Hence, they found integrated yoga therapy to be a safe and effective treatment for obesity in adult males.

The benefits of yoga practice, though, appear to be small. The yoga group on average only lost about 2 pounds of body weight despite intensive treatment over 14 weeks. So, it doesn’t appear from this study that integrated yoga therapy is a cost-effective treatment. But, yoga practice is known to produce many improvements in the physiology that were not measured in the present study. These include improvements in cardiovascular symptoms, joint problems, and diabetes. These benefits would tend to counteract the negative health consequences of obesity.

So, although there are suggestions here that integrated yoga therapy may be useful in the treatment of obesity it’s cost-effectiveness is still questionable.

“Yoga is designed to help practitioner reduce body fat, increase flexibility and increase strength. The benefits of yoga to obese people also include increased blood flow, reduced pain and increased respiratory function.” – Hannah Wahlig

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available at the Contemplative Studies Blog http://contemplative-studies.org/wp/
They are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

Study Summary

Rshikesan P B, Subramanya P, Singh D. Sleep quality and body composition variations in obese male adults after 14 weeks of yoga intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Int J Yoga 2017;10:128-37

Background: Obesity is a big challenge all over the world. It is associated with many noncommunicable diseases. Yoga known to be add-on treatment may be effective for obesity control. Aim: To assess the effect of integrated approach of yoga therapy (IAYT) for body composition and quality of sleep in adult obese male. Subjects and Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted for 14 weeks on obese male of urban setting. Eighty individuals were randomly divided into two groups, i.e., yoga group (n = 40; age; 40.03 ± 8.74 years, body mass index [BMI] 28.7 ± 2.35 kg/m2) and control group (age; 42.20 ± 12.06 years, BMI 27.70 ± 2.05 kg/m2). The IAYT was imparted to yoga group for 1½ hour for 5 days in a week for 14 weeks. The control group continued their regular activities. The body composition by InBody R20 and sleep quality by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were assessed. Statistical analysis was done for within and between groups using SPSS version 21. The correlation analysis was done on the difference in pre-post values. Results: The results showed that weight (P = 0.004), BMI (P = 0.008), bone mass (P = 0.017), obesity degree (P = 0.005), and mineral mass (P = 0.046) were improved in yoga group and no change in control group (P > 0.05). The global score of PSQI improved (P = 0.017) in yoga group alone. Conclusion: The results indicate the beneficial effects of IAYT on body composition and sleep quality in obese males. The yoga practice may reduce obesity with the improvement in quality of life.
http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2017;volume=10;issue=3;spage=128;epage=137;aulast=Rshikesan

Improve Cardiopulmonary and Metabolic Condition and Body Weight with Yoga

Improve Cardiopulmonary and Metabolic Condition and Body Weight with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Every time you practice yoga, you have the chance to reclaim part of yourself that you don’t always have easy access to. It might be physical, mental, or emotional, but the process of integration is quickened by yoga practice.” – Dinabandhu Sarley

 

Yoga practice has been shown to have a large number of beneficial effects on the psychological, emotional, and physical health of the individual and is helpful in the treatment of mental and physical illness, including cardiovascular disease and metabolic problems. This is important as cardiovascular disease is the number one killer, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. In addition, 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 an important risk factor as it increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes five-fold and heart attack or stroke three-fold.

 

A myriad of treatments has been developed for heart disease including a variety of surgical procedures and medications. But the safest effective treatments are lifestyle changes. These include quitting smoking, weight reduction, improved diet, physical activity, and reducing stresses. Other safe and effective treatments are contemplative practices, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga, have also been shown to be helpful for heart health. These practices have also been shown to be helpful for producing the kinds of lifestyle changes needed to prevent heart disease such as smoking cessationweight reduction, and stress reduction. Metabolic Syndrome can also be prevented or reverse the risk with exercise and weight loss.

 

Since, yoga is a mindfulness practice and an exercise it would seem to be ideally suited for the prevention of cardiovascular, pulmonary, or metabolic problems. In today’s Research News article “Cardiopulmonary and metabolic effects of yoga in healthy volunteers.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2017;volume=10;issue=3;spage=115;epage=120;aulast=Divya, Divya and colleagues examine the effectiveness of yoga practice in improving cardiovascular and metabolic health in healthy adults. They recruited participants in a 41-day yoga training occurring 75 min/day, 6 days/week. Practice included meditation, breathing practice, mudras, postures, and relaxation. Before and after training they were measured for their lipid profile, thyroid function, cardiac and pulmonary function, and autonomic function.

 

They found that following the treatment there were significant improvements in cardiovascular function, including decreases resting heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood pressure response to standing, improvements in metabolic function, including decreases in body mass index, blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood fat, and increases in pulmonary function, including increases in lung size, expiratory volume, and peak expiratory flow rate. Hence, participation in the yoga training produced significant improvements in cardiopulmonary and metabolic health.

 

It should be noted that there wasn’t a control or comparison condition included in the study. The participants physical state prior to training was simply compared to that after training. But, the improvements were of such a magnitude that it would be unlikely to be produced by confounding factors, such as expectancy effects or the passage of time. Since the participants were healthy adults at the start of training, the improvements are even more striking. This suggests that participation in yoga practice promotes health and may delay or prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

 

So, improve cardiopulmonary and metabolic condition and body weight with yoga.

 

“Yoga burns calories, tones your body and gives you a challenging routine to perform. Further, yoga increases flexibility, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. Physiologically, yoga has been shown to decrease resting heart rate, respiration and blood pressure and improve metabolic rate.” – Nikki Prosch

 

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

 

Divya T S, Vijayalakshmi M T, Mini K, Asish K, Pushpalatha M, Suresh V. Cardiopulmonary and metabolic effects of yoga in healthy volunteers. Int J Yoga 2017;10:115-20

 

Abstract

Background: Yoga the spiritual union of mind with the divine intelligence of the universe aims to liberate a human being from conflicts of body–mind duality. Beneficial cardiovascular and pulmonary effects of yoga are in par with aerobic exercise, even amounting to replace the exercise model. We conducted an interventional study in healthy volunteers, to analyze the impact of short-term yoga training on cardiovascular, pulmonary, autonomic function tests, lipid profile, and thyroid function tests. Materials and Methods: A sample of fifty new recruits attending the district yoga center was subject to 75 min yoga practice a day for 41 days. Basal values of cardiovascular, pulmonary, autonomic function tests, lipid profile, and thyroid function tests were recorded before yoga training and were reassessed for postyoga changes after 41 days. Results: After yoga practice there was a significant reduction in the resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean blood pressure of the participants. Effects on autonomic function tests were variable and inconclusive. There was a significant increase in forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and peak expiratory flow rate after yoga. A significant reduction in body mass index was observed. Effects on metabolic parameters were promising with a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar level, serum total cholesterol, serum triglycerides serum low-density lipoprotein levels, and significant increase in high-density lipoprotein. There was no significant change in thyroid function tests after yoga. Conclusion: Short-term yoga practice has no effect on thyroid functions. Yoga practice was found beneficial in maintaining physiological milieu pertaining to cardiovascular and other metabolic parameters.

 

http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2017;volume=10;issue=3;spage=115;epage=120;aulast=Divya

Improve Body Mass and Blood Pressure with Yoga

Improve Body Mass and Blood Pressure with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

 “Those practicing yoga who were overweight to start with lost about five pounds during the same time period those not practicing yoga gained 14 pounds.” – Alan Kristol

 

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). Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling 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 obesity. Mindfulness has also been shown to make people more aware of eating and reduce intake. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity. Yoga training involves both mindfulness and exercise. So, yoga training might be very effective in reducing body weight and improving cardiovascular health.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga Practice Improves the Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433109/, Chauhan and colleagues recruited healthy adults who participated in a 1-month yoga camp, with 1 hour of yoga practice each day, and a no-treatment control group. Before and after the 1-month treatment period the participants were measured for body size and blood pressure.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the no-treatment control group, the yoga participants had a significant decrease in their Body Mass Index (BMI, weight divided by height squared, a standard measure of body size and overweight), and significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Hence yoga practice resulted in improvements in body size and cardiovascular health.

 

These results suggest that yoga practice may be helpful in treating overweight and preventing obesity and the resultant cardiovascular problems. The study, however, compared a yoga group to a no-treatment group. So, potential confounding variables such as expectancy and attentional effects cannot be excluded as explanations. Future research studies should compare yoga practice to other exercise programs to establish if it’s the exercise contained in the yoga practice that is responsible for the benefits or something specific to yoga practice.

 

So, improve body mass and blood pressure with yoga.

 

“Yoga can control daily behaviors, produce self-awareness, boost personal growth and bring self-realization. This can help to improve eating patterns and promote self-control. Yoga has a promising effect in addressing a wide range of health conditions by stabilizing BMI.” – Minakshi Welukar

 

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

 

Chauhan, A., Semwal, D. K., Mishra, S. P., & Semwal, R. B. (2017). Yoga Practice Improves the Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure: A Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Yoga, 10(2), 103–106. http://doi.org/10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_46_16

 

Abstract

Background:

Yoga, an ancient Indian system of exercise and therapy is an art of good living or an integrated system for the benefit of the body, mind, and inner spirit. Regular practice of yoga can help to increase blood flow to the brain, reduce stress, have a calming effect on the nervous system, and greatly help in reducing hypertension.

Aim:

Aim of the present study is to evaluate the effect of 1-month yoga practice on body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure (BP).

Materials and Methods:

The present study was conducted to determine the effect of yoga practice on 64 participants (age 53.6 ± 13.1 years) (experimental group) whereas the results were compared with 26 healthy volunteers (control group). We examined the effects of yoga on physiological parameters in a 1-month pilot study. Most of the participants were learner and practiced yoga for 1 h daily in the morning for 1 month. BMI and BP (systolic and diastolic) were studied before and after 1 month of yoga practice.

Results:

Yoga practice causes decreased BMI (26.4 ± 2.5–25.22 ± 2.4), systolic BP (136.9 ± 22.18 mmHg to 133 ± 21.38 mmHg), and diastolic BP (84.7 ± 6.5 mmHg to 82.34 ± 7.6 mmHg). On the other hand, no significant changes were observed in BMI and BP of control group.

Conclusion:

This study concludes that yoga practice has potential to control BMI and BP without taking any medication.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433109/

Reduce Intake of Sweets and Blood Glucose Levels with Mindful Eating

Reduce Intake of Sweets and Blood Glucose Levels with Mindful Eating

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindful eating helps us learn to hear what our body is telling us about hunger and satisfaction. It helps us become aware of who in the body/heart/mind complex is hungry, and how and what is best to nourish it.” – Jan Chozen Bays

 

Eating is produced by two categories of signals. Homeostatic signals emerge from the body’s need for nutrients and usually work to balance intake with expenditure. Hedonic eating, on the other hand, is not tied to nutrient needs but rather to the pleasurable and rewarding qualities of food. Overeating sweets is a good example. 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, external eating and hedonic eating.

 

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. Currently more than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese and around 35% of the population meets the criteria for 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. Hence there is a great need to find ways to prevent obesity from occurring and reversing it when it does.

 

The best available treatment for overweight and obesity is obviously weight loss. But, as anyone who has tried well knows, losing weight with diet and exercise is extremely difficult. So, it is important to identify means to assist with weight loss. In today’s Research News article “Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on mindful eating, sweets consumption, and fasting glucose levels in obese adults: data from the SHINE randomized controlled trial.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4801689/

Mason and colleagues examine the effectiveness of mindfulness training in assisting with a diet and exercise weight loss program.

 

They recruited obese individuals (BMI > 30) and randomly assigned them to receive either a diet and exercise weight loss program supplemented with mindfulness training or diet and exercise only. The weight loss program consisted of a 5.5 month program with modest dietary restriction aimed at reducing intake by 500 Kcal per day and with a program to increase expenditure by increasing daily activity levels and with a structured aerobic exercise program. The mindfulness intervention consisted of a Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training  program. involving guided eating meditations and discussion of mindful eating practices of (1) attending to physical hunger, stomach fullness, and taste satisfaction, (2) increasing awareness of these practices in “mini-meditations” prior to meals, and (3) identifying food craving, and emotional and other triggers to eat.” The participants were measured before and after treatment and 6 months later for body weight, mindful eating, eating of sweet foods and deserts, and fasting blood glucose levels.

 

They found that the mindfulness group demonstrated a significant increase in mindful eating, particularly in eating awareness, that was maintained 6 months after the end of treatment. Eating of sweets and fasting blood glucose levels significantly declined 6-minths after treatment in the mindfulness group while the control group significantly increased. They also found that the change in mindful eating, to a small extent, mediated the influence of mindfulness training on blood glucose levels. The diet and exercise program was moderately successful. At the end of training the mindfulness group lost 5.2 Kg while the control group lost 4.0 Kg. It was disappointing, however, that there was not a significant difference between the groups in body weight reduction. So, although the mindfulness training appeared to be effective in reducing intake of sweets and blood glucose levels, it did not improve weight loss beyond the effects of diet and exercise alone.

 

This is an excellently designed and executed study with an active control condition. It revealed that supplementing diet and exercise with mindfulness training slightly improves weight loss, but not significantly. It is possible that there was a floor effect where the diet and exercise program produced maximal results for both groups so any effect of mindfulness could not be detected. But, the weight loss was modest and there was plenty of room for greater loss. Hence, it would appear that mindfulness training is a helpful addition to a diet and exercise program, but does not produce major improvements in body weight loss.

 

So, reduce intake of sweets and blood glucose levels with mindful eating.

 

“Many of the habits that drive overeating are unconscious behaviors that people have repeated for years, and they act them out without even realizing it. The process of mindfulness allows a person to wake up and be aware of what they’re doing. Once you’re aware, you can change your actions.” – Megrette Fletcher

 

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

Mason, A. E., Epel, E. S., Kristeller, J., Moran, P. J., Dallman, M., Lustig, R. H., … Daubenmier, J. (2016). Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on mindful eating, sweets consumption, and fasting glucose levels in obese adults: data from the SHINE randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 39(2), 201–213. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-015-9692-8

 

Abstract

We evaluated changes in mindful eating as a potential mechanism underlying the effects of a mindfulness-based intervention for weight loss on eating of sweet foods and fasting glucose levels. We randomized 194 obese individuals (M age = 47.0 ± 12.7 years; BMI = 35.5 ± 3.6; 78 % women) to a 5.5-month diet-exercise program with or without mindfulness training. The mindfulness group, relative to the active control group, evidenced increases in mindful eating and maintenance of fasting glucose from baseline to 12-month assessment. Increases in mindful eating were associated with decreased eating of sweets and fasting glucose levels among mindfulness group participants, but this association was not statistically significant among active control group participants. Twelve-month increases in mindful eating partially mediated the effect of intervention arm on changes in fasting glucose levels from baseline to 12-month assessment. Increases in mindful eating may contribute to the effects of mindfulness-based weight loss interventions on eating of sweets and fasting glucose levels.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4801689/

Reduce Weight and Cardiovascular Disease Risk with Mindfulness

Reduce Weight and Cardiovascular Disease Risk with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“since stress is often at the root of overeating, mindfulness seems to make us eat better meals, which means it’s likely possible to lose weight without dieting.” – Mandy Oaklander

 

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack.” (Centers for Disease Control). A myriad of treatments has been developed for heart disease including a variety of surgical procedures and medications. In addition, lifestyle changes have proved to be effective including quitting smoking, weight reduction, improved diet, physical activity, and reducing stresses. Stress reduction is a key lifestyle change in treating heart conditions as stress can lead to increased physiological arousal including increased blood pressure that can exacerbate the patient’s condition

 

Contemplative practices, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga, have also been shown to be helpful for heart health. In addition, mindfulness practices have also been shown to be helpful for producing the kinds of other lifestyle changes needed such as smoking cessation and weight reduction. They are particularly helpful for stress reduction, decreasing the psychological and physiological responses to stress. So, it would make sense to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness practices in the treatment of cardiac patients. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Weight Loss and CVD Risk Management.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5386400/

Fulwiler and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the effects of mindfulness training on cardiovascular disease risk.

 

One way to reduce cardiovascular disease risk is weight reduction. They report that the literature does not find mindfulness training by itself to be effective in reducing weight. But, when mindfulness training involves development of specific skills such as mindful eating skills or in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) then it produces significant weight reduction. Another risk factor is cigarette smoking and they find that the literature reports that mindfulness training is effective for quitting and remaining abstinent. Another way to reduce cardiovascular disease risk is blood pressure reduction and increasing physical activity. They report that the published studies find that mindfulness training is effective in reducing blood pressure and increasing in physical activity.

 

Hence, the published studies find that mindfulness training is effective in reducing cardiovascular disease risk by reducing body weight, smoking, blood pressure, and increasing physical activity. These are important findings that suggest that mindfulness training reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease and as a result increase longevity. Mindfulness training probably has these effects primarily by reducing the physiological and psychological responses to stress and by encouraging present moment awareness of the physical state and sensations such as taste and smell.

 

So, reduce weight and cardiovascular disease risk with mindfulness.

 

“Applied to eating, mindfulness includes noticing the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food; chewing slowly; getting rid of distractions like TV or reading; and learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.” – Harvard Health

 

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

Fulwiler, C., Brewer, J. A., Sinnott, S., & Loucks, E. B. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Weight Loss and CVD Risk Management. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports, 9(10), 46. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12170-015-0474-1

 

Abstract

Obesity affects more than one-third of U.S. adults and is a major cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, primarily from cardiovascular disease. Traditional behavioral interventions for weight loss typically focus on diet and exercise habits and often give little attention to the role of stress and emotions in the initiation and maintenance of unhealthy behaviors, which may account for their modest results and considerable variability in outcomes. Stress eating and emotional eating are increasingly recognized as important targets of weight loss interventions. Mindfulness-based interventions were specifically developed to promote greater self-efficacy in coping with stress and negative emotions, and appear to be effective for a variety of conditions. In recent years researchers have begun to study mindfulness interventions for weight loss and CVD risk management. This review describes the rationale for the use of mindfulness in interventions for weight loss and CVD risk management, summarizes the research to date, and suggests priorities for future research.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5386400/

Improve Elderly Blood Pressure and Waist Circumference with Tai Chi

Improve Elderly Blood Pressure and Waist Circumference with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“For those with limited space, tai chi may be an easier and more convenient than brisk walking as an anti-aging choice. Previous studies have shown tai chi also improves balance and may help boost brain functioning.” – Shinn-Zong Lin

 

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 an important risk factor as it increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes five-fold and heart attack or stroke three-fold. Metabolic Syndrome incidence has been rising rapidly and it currently affects 34% of U.S. adults. Needless to say, this is a major health problem. The good news is that timely treatment can prevent or reverse the risk. The simplest treatment is simply exercise and weight loss.

 

The incidence of metabolic syndrome is much higher in the elderly with 50% of people over 60 years of age suffering from metabolic syndrome. Exercise that is appropriate for younger individuals is often not appropriate for the elderly. Tai Chi is a mindfulness practice and gentle exercise that has been found to be safe and effective for the elderly. Hence, it would seem reasonable to test the effectiveness of Tai Chi for metabolic syndrome in the elderly.

 

In today’s Research News article “The effects of Tai Chi on waist circumference and blood pressure in the elderly.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300833/

Lee tested the effect of Tai Chi on the blood pressure and waist circumference of the elderly. She recruited sedentary individuals over 65 years of age and randomly assigned them to groups that practiced Tai Chi or a control group that practiced solely the warm up and cool down portions of the program. Tai Chi was practiced for 60 minutes, 5 times per week for 6 weeks. The participants were measured for blood pressure and waist circumference before and after the 6-week practice period.

 

Lee found that practicing Tai Chi produced a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and waist circumference in the elderly participants. There were no recorded injuries or adverse effects from the practice. Since metabolic syndrome is associated with excess body fat and high blood pressure, these results suggest that Tai Chi practice may be a safe and effective treatment to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome in the elderly. Tai Chi has also been shown to improve the elderly mentally and physically including the risk of falls. So, it would seem reasonable to encourage the participation of the elderly in Tai Chi practice for their health and wellbeing.

 

So, improve elderly blood pressure and waist circumference with Tai Chi.

 

“Tai chi is often described as “meditation in motion,” but it might well be called “medication in motion.” There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren’t in top shape or the best of health.” – Harvard Women’s Health Watch

 

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

Lee, Y. M. (2017). The effects of Tai Chi on waist circumference and blood pressure in the elderly. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 29(1), 172–175. http://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.29.172

 

Abstract

[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Tai Chi on waist circumference and blood pressure in the elderly. The present study used a nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest design. [Subjects and Methods] Sixty-eight elderly individuals residing in J city were divided into 2 groups: 34 in the experimental group, who received Tai Chi training for 6 weeks, and 34 in the control group, who did not receive Tai Chi training. Simplified Yang style 24-form Tai Chi was used as the intervention, which was conducted for 60 minutes per session, 5 sessions per week, for a total of 6 weeks. In each session, subjects in the experimental group conducted 10 minutes of warm-up exercises, 45 minutes of Tai Chi, and 5 minutes of cool-down exercises. Waist circumference and blood pressure were measured before and after the 6-week intervention. [Results] Waist circumference and blood pressure decreased significantly after the 6-week intervention in the experimental group compared with the control group. [Conclusion] Tai Chi can be used as an effective intervention to improve waist circumference and blood pressure in the elderly.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300833/

 

Improve Health and Weight with Mindfulness

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Applied to eating, mindfulness includes noticing the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food; chewing slowly; getting rid of distractions like TV or reading; and learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.” – Celeste Robb-Nicholson

 

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). Lesbian and bisexual women have even higher incidence rates of overweight and obesity that the general population. 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 obesity. Mindfulness has also been shown to make people more aware of eating and reduce intake. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity. Hence it would seem reasonable to investigate the benefits of mindfulness training for a particular vulnerable party of the population, lesbian and bisexual older women.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Mindfulness Interventions on Health Outcomes in Older Lesbian/Bisexual Women.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1302069166483673/?type=3&theater

or see summary below. Ingraham and colleagues examined the effectiveness for lesbian and bisexual older (>40 years of age) women of a mindfulness-based program entitled Women’s Health and Mindfulness (WHAM) program which was specifically tailored to improve mindfulness, body weight, and overall health. They compared the effectiveness of this program to a similar program designed to promote exercise and dietary restrain but did not contain a mindfulness component. The programs met once a week for 2 hours over 12 weeks. Measurements were taken before and after the programs of mindful eating, nutrition, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body size, and quality of life.

 

They found that the mindfulness intervention significantly increased all three components of mindful eating, emotional eating, disinhibition, and eating awareness. This was associated with healthier eating including decreased alcohol and sugar intakes. The increases in mindful eating were also associated with increased activity levels and mental health quality of life. In addition, there were small but significant decreases in weight and waist circumference.

 

These results are encouraging and demonstrate that a mindfulness-based training program can be effective for a population, older lesbian and bisexual women, which is highly vulnerable to overweight and obesity; improving intake, decreasing body size, and improving mental health quality of life. There is a need for a long-term follow up to examine how lasting the effects of the intervention might be.

 

So, improve health and weight with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness is the act of focusing attention on present-moment experiences. Apply that to a meal, and mindful eating means actually paying attention to the food you’re eating, making you less likely to thoughtlessly plow through a bag of potato chips, for instance. “The only thing you have to focus on is the food. Mindfulness brings you back to the present moment, back to the present meal.” – Mandy Oaklander

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

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

 

Study Summary

Ingraham N, Eliason MJ, Garbers S, Harbatkin D, Minnis AM, McElroy JA, Haynes SG. Effects of Mindfulness Interventions on Health Outcomes in Older Lesbian/Bisexual Women. Womens Health Issues. 2016 Jul 7;26 Suppl 1:S53-62. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2016.04.002.

 

Abstract

PURPOSE: Lesbian and bisexual (LB) women are at higher risk for obesity, but no reported interventions focus on older LB women who are overweight or obese. The Healthy Weight in Lesbian and Bisexual Women study funded five programs (n = 266 LB women age ≥40); two examined effects of mindfulness interventions on health outcomes.

METHODS: Analysis of variance and regression measured the impact of mindfulness-based programs on health behaviors and quality of life (MCS). Outcomes were also compared between intervention sites (mindfulness vs. standard weight loss approaches).

RESULTS: Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ) subscale scores improved significantly from preassessment to postassessment in mindfulness interventions. LB women who reported an increase (top tertile) in mindful eating had the most significant increase in MCS scores (35.3%) compared with those with low gains (low and medium tertile) in mindfulness (3.8%). MEQ score increase predicted 40.8% of the variance (adjusted) in MCS score, R(2) = .431, F(6,145) = 18.337, p < .001. Top tertile increases in mindfulness were significantly related to increases in physical activity and some nutrition outcomes. Mindfulness intervention sites showed within-person improvements in MCS and fruit and vegetable intake, whereas standard intervention sites showed within-person decreases in alcohol intake and increases in physical activity level.

CONCLUSIONS: Although weight loss was not a primary outcome at the mindfulness sites, small but significant weight loss and weight-to-height ratio decreases were reported at all five sites. Increases in mindfulness were associated with a number of significant self-reported health improvements, including a great increase in perceived mental health quality of life. Mindfulness may be a promising practice to address health issues in aging LB women.