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Mindfulness and Eating: An Experiment Examining the Effect of Mindful Raisin Eating on the Enjoyment of Sampled Food

Abstract

The present research examined whether mindful eating creates more willingness to sample foods that are typically not enjoyed and whether there is higher enjoyment in eating these foods. Participants were randomly assigned to a mindful raisin-eating task condition, a nonmindful raisin-eating task (control) condition, or a no-task baseline condition. All participants were offered anchovies, wasabi peas, and prunes to sample, after which they indicated what food they sampled and rated their enjoyment of each sampled food. Of the 411 total participants, 238 participants sampled at least one item of food. Samplers in the mindful raisin-eating task condition indicated higher levels of enjoyment of the sampled food than did samplers in either the nonmindful raisin-eating control condition or the no-task baseline condition. However, mindful eating had no effect on the likelihood of sampling food. Implications for the application of a mindful eating exercise in enhancing eating experiences, health concerns related to food, 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. Mindfulness and Eating: An Experiment Examining the Effect of Mindful Raisin Eating on the Enjoyment of Sampled Food. Mindfulness 5, 80–87 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-012-0154-x

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Mindful eating
  • Food enjoyment
  • Food neophobia
  • Picky eating