The Positive Impact of Mindful Eating on Expectations of Food Liking

Abstract

The positive role of mindful raisin-eating in participants’ expectation of liking of raisins, other foods, and nonfood stimuli was tested across two experiments. The present study examined the relation between mindful raisin-eating and the affective evaluation of food and nonfood items (i.e., the degree to which individuals expect to or think they will like a food or nonfood item). In Experiment 1, college students were randomly assigned to complete a mindful raisin-eating task or complete a nonmindful raisin-eating control task and then reported on how much they thought they would like raisins and other foods. In Experiment 2, a third, no-task condition was included to categorize foods and non-foods into initially disliked, neutral, and liked categories. Results indicate that mindful raisin-eating produced higher ratings of expected liking of foods in general (Experiments 1 and 2) compared to nonmindful raisin-eating and that the effect was strongest for initially disliked foods, moderate for initially neutral foods, and smallest for initially liked foods (Experiment 2). Furthermore, the results of Experiment 2 suggest that mindfully eating also produced higher expected liking of non-food stimuli (pets and hobbies) compared to nonmindful raisin-eating. Implications for the use of mindfulness in enhancing daily life experiences and addressing food neophobia and picky eating are discussed.

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Correspondence to Phan Y. Hong.

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Hong, P.Y., Lishner, D.A., Han, K.H. et al. The Positive Impact of Mindful Eating on Expectations of Food Liking. Mindfulness 2, 103–113 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-011-0048-3

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Mindful eating
  • Food liking
  • Eating enjoyment
  • Food aversion
  • Food neophobia