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Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Weight Loss and CVD Risk Management


Obesity affects more than one third of US 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.

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This work was supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) R34AT006963 to C.F. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the UMMS Center for Mindfulness.

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Carl Fulwiler, Eric Loucks, and Sinead Sinnott have no relevant disclosures to report. Judson Brewer is a stockholder in Claritas Mindsciences.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.

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Correspondence to Carl Fulwiler.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Novel + Emerging Risk Factors

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Fulwiler, C., Brewer, J.A., Sinnott, S. et al. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Weight Loss and CVD Risk Management. Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep 9, 46 (2015).

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  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Weight loss
  • Stress eating
  • Mindfulness
  • CVD risk management
  • Interventions