Mindfulness, Eating Behaviours, and Obesity: A Review and Reflection on Current Findings


Mindfulness and mindful eating have become popular in recent years. In this review, we first explore what mindfulness is in the context of psychological research, and why it offers promise for eating behaviours and weight loss. Second, we review the main empirical findings for weight loss in mindfulness-based intervention programmes. Third, contradictions in the findings are explored in more depth, and suggestions are made regarding why they may be occurring. Fourth, the benefits of adding self-compassion (and compassion) training to mindfulness practise to assist weight loss is discussed. Finally, the limitations of the research literature (and possible solutions) are explored. Overall, it is concluded that while mindfulness meditations that specifically focus on eating may be extremely helpful in promoting better eating behaviours, and assist in weight regulation, work is still needed to make such interventions appeal to a wider audience.

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Michail Mantzios and Janet Clare Wilson declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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

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Correspondence to Michail Mantzios.

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Mantzios, M., Wilson, J.C. Mindfulness, Eating Behaviours, and Obesity: A Review and Reflection on Current Findings. Curr Obes Rep 4, 141–146 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13679-014-0131-x

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  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Compassion
  • Eating behaviours
  • Obesity