The Mindfulness App Trial for Weight, Weight-Related Behaviors, and Stress in University Students: Randomized Controlled Trial

We identified 1 web-based intuitive eating intervention, which did not lead to body mass index changes, as well as a multipurpose mobile health app with mindful eating as 1 component, not focusing on mindfulness as a central theme

Lynnette Nathalie Lyzwinski; Liam Caffery; Matthew Bambling; Sisira Edirippulige


Scholarcy highlights

  • BackgroundObesity and overweight are important international public health challenges that are critical to tackle across the globe given that they are leading risk factors for premature mortality and morbidity from a range of chronic diseases
  • The groups were comparable on baseline characteristics, and there were no significant differences in weight between the groups or body mass index
  • It may be of interest to combine traditional behavioral self-monitoring short message service text messages for weight and mindfulness-based messages. This is the first mobile health mindfulness app randomized controlled trial that has assessed the effectiveness of a student-tailored mindfulness app for stress, weight-related behaviors, and weight when compared with traditional, electronic behavioral self-monitoring of diet and exercise
  • We found that the mindfulness app significantly assisted with stress, emotional eating, and uncontrolled eating relative to the control, though the effect sizes were small
  • We conclude that the mindfulness app holds promise for weight-related lifestyle behaviors related to stress and stress eating, but more studies are needed to confirm these relationships
  • The pairwise comparison results indicate that the control group had significantly higher levels of emotional eating on the 3-Factor Eating Behavior Questionnaire by 1.088 points, though the effect was small
  • Studies should examine whether a mindfulness app and electronic behavior self-monitoring via diary are effective measures for preventing weight gain, and possibly the “Freshman 15.”

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