Research Articles


Intuitive and Mindful Eating

If article link is unavailable on this page you can view the abstracts of the articles (and sometimes the whole article) on the web by going to Google Scholar and search under the title or author name (see right hand column).


– Daubenmmier J, Kristeller J, Hecht FM, et al. (2011). Mindfulness Intervention for Stress Eating to Reduce Cortisol and Abdominal Fat among Overwieght and Obese Women: An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Study. Journal of Obesity, 2011. Daubenmier Mindfulness Stress Eating

  • Forty seven overweight/obese women (average BMI = 31.2) randomly assigned to 4 month mindfulness intervention for stress eating. Study showed improvement in mindfulness, anxiety, external-based eating, chronic stress, reduction in abdominal fat, and cortisol awakening response.


– Tapper, K., Shaw, C., Ilsley, J., et al. (2008). Exploratory randomised controlled trial of a mindfulness based weight loss intervention for women, Appetite, doi:10.1016/j.appet.2008.11.012. Tapper Mindfulness Wt loss for women 08

  • Sixty two women randomized to an intervention or control group. Intervention group received four 2hr mindfulness workshops. Data (e.g. BMI, physical activity and mental health) were collected at baseline, 4 and 6 months. Mindfulness intervention was successful in bringing about change. BMI reductions were mediated primarily by reductions in binge eating through mindfulness interventions.


– Papies EK, Barsalou LW, Custers R. (2011). Mindful attention prevents mindless impulses. Research submitted to Social Psychology and Personality Science. Click here to view abstract and full paper.

  • Authors’ research findings suggest that mindful attention to one’s own mental experiences helps to control impulsive eating responses, and thus suggest mindful eating as a potentially powerful method.


– Smith, BW, Shelley BM, Leahigh L, et. al. (2006). A preliminary Study of the Effects of a Modified Mindfulness Intervention on Binge Eating. Journal of Evidence-Based Complimentary & Alternative Medicine, 11(3), p. 133-143.

  • Twenty five participants (no control group) received mindfulness intervention for reducing binge eating. Study showed there was a decline in binge eating episodes as well as anxiety and depressive symptoms.


– Bacon L, Stern JS, Van Loan MD, & et. al. (2005). Size acceptance and intuitive eating improve health for obese, female chronic dieters. Journal of American Dietetic Association, 105, 929-36.

  • A 6 month randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 2 yr follow up (F/U) of 78 obese female chronic dieters. Subjects assigned to a “healthy at every size” approach had more positive outcomes than subjects assigned to a “structured diet”. Outcomes included weight loss and maintenance, total cholesterol, activity, and eating behavior measures and psychological measures. This research study incorporated size acceptance and intuitive eating principles (e.g. listening to hunger and fullness cues).

– Douketis JD, Macie C, Thabane L, & et. al. (2005). Systematic review of long-term weight loss studies in obese adults: clinical significance and applicability to clinical practice. International Journal of Obesity, 29, 1153-67.

  • Systematic review of long-term (>=2 yrs) studies investigating dietary/lifestyle, pharmacologic and surgical weight loss methods to assess: 1) weight loss efficacy, 2) effects of weight loss on cardiovascular risk factors, and 3) applicability of findings from studies to everyday clinical practice. This systematic review basically states weight loss studies have limitations which do not allow for definitive answers in clinical practice.– Katan, MB. (2009). Editorial: Weight-loss diets for the prevention and treatment of obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 360, 923-5.
  • Editorial on Sacks article mentioned below and also mentions the need for more community-based approaches to the obesity epidemic.

– Kristeller JL, Hallett CB. (1999). An exploratory study of a meditation-based intervention [mindful eating] for binge eating disorder. Journal of Health Psychology, 4, 357-63.

  • 18 obese females who reported a decline in binge eating episodes from 4.02 in week prior to mindful eating treatment to 1.57 during week following treatment and a general improvement in mood.

– Mann T, Tomiyama JA, Westling E, & et. al. (2007). Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: Diets are not the answer. American Psycology, 62, 220-233.

  • Analyzed 31 long term diet studies and discovered that in each of the studies 1/3 – 2/3 of subjects gained BACK MORE WEIGHT then they had lost.

– Mathieu, J. (2009). What Should You Know About Mindful and Intuitive Eating?. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(12) 1982-7.

  • Personal interest article which defines and compares Mindful Eating to Intuitive Eating. Also looks at several research studies on the topic. Describes challenges of implementing mindful/intuitive eating principles in today’s society.– Sacks FM, Bray GA, Carey VJ. (2009). Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. New England Journal of Medicine, 360, 859-873.
  • Long term study which tested efficacy of a variety of weight loss diets on obese subjects with results showing weight loss [diet’s work when you’re on them] followed by a regaining of weight [but diet’s don’t work in the long term].

– Smitham LA. (2008).Evaluating an intuitive eating program for binge eating disorder: A benchmarking study [dissertation]. South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame.

  • Dissertation which treated 30 females with the diagnosis of binge eating disorder. After eight 90 min weekly intuitive eating sessions, 80.6% of subjects no longer met the diagnostic criteria for the disorder.

– Tsai AG & Wadden TA. (2005). Systematic Review: An Evaluation of Major Commercial Weight Loss Programs in the US. Annals of Internal Medicine, 142 (1), 56-66.

  • Studied randomized control trial at least 12 weeks in duration and included a follow-up evaluation for 1 yr or longer. Looked at, Take Off Pounds Sensibly, OPTIFAST, Weight Watchers and others. All the research studies, except one, showed SUB-OPTIMAL results.

– Tylka T. (2006). Development and Psychometric Evaluation of a Measure of Intuitive Eating. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53 (2), 226-240.

· Evaluation of Intuitive Eating Scale with data collected from 4 studies from 1,260 college females. Validity of scale was supported.



Mindful Living and Mindfulness Research Articles

Curtis, K., Osadchuk, A., & Katz, J. (2011). An eight-week yoga intervention is associated with improvements in pain, psychological functioning and mindfulness, and changes in cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia. Journal of Pain Research, 4, 189-201.

  • The results suggest that a yoga intervention may reduce pain and catastrophizing, increase acceptance and mindfulness, and alter total cortisol levels in women with FM.
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Julie talking about Mindfulness