Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 1875–1881 | Cite as

Weight loss with mindful eating in African American women following treatment for breast cancer: a longitudinal study

  • SeonYoon Chung
  • Shijun Zhu
  • Erika Friedmann
  • Catherine Kelleher
  • Adriane Kozlovsky
  • Karen W. Macfarlane
  • Katherine H. R. Tkaczuk
  • Alice S. Ryan
  • Kathleen A. Griffith
Original Article



Women with higher body mass index (BMI) following breast cancer (BC) treatment are at higher risk of BC recurrence and death than women of normal weight. African American (AA) BC patients have the highest risk of BC recurrence and gain more weight after diagnosis than their white counterparts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between a mindful eating intervention and weight loss in AA women following chemotherapy for BC.


A single-group 24-week longitudinal pilot study with repeated measures was conducted. AA women (N = 22, BMI = 35.13 kg/m2, range = 27.08–47.21) with stage I–III BC who had finished active cancer treatment received a 12-week mindful eating intervention with individual dietary counseling and group mindfulness sessions, followed by bi-weekly telephone follow-up for 12 weeks. Linear mixed models were used to evaluate the effects of the intervention and of baseline mindfulness on the weight change over time.


In the overall group (N = 22), MEQ scores increased over time (p = 0.001) while weight decreased over time (−0.887 kg, p = 0.015). Weight loss over time was associated with higher T1 MEQ scores (p = 0.043). Participants in the higher MEQ group (n = 11) at T1 experienced significant weight loss over time (−1.166 kg, p = 0.044), whereas those in the low MEQ (n = 11) did not lose weight. Participants who were diagnosed with stage 1 BC experienced significant weight loss over time (−7.909 kg, p = 0.014).


This study suggests that a mindful weight loss program may be effective for weight reduction and maintenance in some AA women who have completed treatment for BC, particularly those diagnosed with stage 1 BC and with initially higher mindful eating behaviors. Mindful weight loss program is proposed as a promising way in which to reduce obesity-related conditions in AA BC survivors.


African Americans Breast cancer Mindfulness Weight loss 


Funding source

This study was supported by KCA126849A NCI-Greenebaum Cancer Center K12 (Griffith, PI), Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center Baltimore Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), NIDDK Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NIH P30 DK072488) Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (P30-AG028747). Dr. Ryan was supported by a VA Research Career Scientist Award.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • SeonYoon Chung
    • 1
  • Shijun Zhu
    • 1
  • Erika Friedmann
    • 1
  • Catherine Kelleher
    • 1
  • Adriane Kozlovsky
    • 2
    • 3
  • Karen W. Macfarlane
    • 4
  • Katherine H. R. Tkaczuk
    • 5
  • Alice S. Ryan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kathleen A. Griffith
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Maryland School of NursingBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC)University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins HospitalBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.University of Maryland School of Medicine and Greenebaum Cancer CenterBaltimoreUSA

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