Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 201–213 | Cite as

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

  • Ashley E. MasonEmail author
  • Elissa S. Epel
  • Jean Kristeller
  • Patricia J. Moran
  • Mary Dallman
  • Robert H. Lustig
  • Michael Acree
  • Peter Bacchetti
  • Barbara A. Laraia
  • Frederick M. Hecht
  • Jennifer Daubenmier


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.


Mindful eating Fasting glucose Sweet foods Obese adults Mindfulness intervention 



This research was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (NCCIH) to Frederick M. Hecht (1P01AT005013; K24AT007827) and Jennifer Daubenmier (K01AT004199). Ashley E. Mason was supported by NCCIH (T32AT003997). This publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through UCSF-CTSI Grant Number UL1 TR000004. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Ashley E. Mason, Elissa S. Epel, Patricia J. Moran, Mary Dallman, Robert H. Lustig, Michael Acree, Peter Bacchetti, Barbara A. Laraia, Frederick M. Hecht, and Jennifer Daubenmier declare that they have no conflicts of interest. Jean Kristeller participated in a paid webinar on ‘mindful snacking’ for Allidura Consumer.

Human and animal rights and Informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashley E. Mason
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elissa S. Epel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean Kristeller
    • 3
  • Patricia J. Moran
    • 1
  • Mary Dallman
    • 2
  • Robert H. Lustig
    • 4
  • Michael Acree
    • 1
  • Peter Bacchetti
    • 5
  • Barbara A. Laraia
    • 6
  • Frederick M. Hecht
    • 1
  • Jennifer Daubenmier
    • 1
  1. 1.Osher Center for Integrative MedicineUniversity of California – San Francisco (UCSF)San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health and CommunityUCSFSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyIndiana State UniversityTerre HauteUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsUCSFSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUCSFSan FranciscoUSA
  6. 6.UC Berkeley School of Public HealthBerkeleyUSA

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