Effects of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention in adults with obesity: A randomized clinical trial

Jennifer Daubenmier, Patricia J. Moran, Jean Kristeller, Michael Acree, Peter Bacchetti, Margaret E. Kemeny, Mary Dallman, Robert H. Lustig, Carl Grunfeld, Douglas F. Nixon, Jeffrey M. Milush, Veronica Goldman, Barbara Laraia, Kevin D. Laugero, Leslie Woodhouse, Elissa S. Epel, Frederick M. Hecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objective To determine whether adding mindfulness-based eating and stress management practices to a diet-exercise program improves weight loss and metabolic syndrome components. Methods In this study 194 adults with obesity were randomized to a 5.5-month program with or without mindfulness training and identical diet-exercise guidelines. Intention-to-treat analyses with multiple imputation were used for missing data. The primary outcome was 18-month weight change. Results Estimated effects comparing the mindfulness to control arm favored the mindfulness arm in (a) weight loss at 12 months, -1.9 kg (95% CI: -4.5, 0.8; P = 0.17), and 18 months, -1.7 kg (95% CI: -4.7, 1.2; P = 0.24), though not statistically significant; (b) changes in fasting glucose at 12 months, -3.1 mg/dl (95% CI: -6.3, 0.1; P = 0.06), and 18 months, -4.1 mg/dl (95% CI: -7.3, -0.9; P = 0.01); and (c) changes in triglyceride/HDL ratio at 12 months, -0.57 (95% CI: -0.95, -0.18; P = 0.004), and 18 months, -0.36 (95% CI: -0.74, 0.03; P = 0.07). Estimates for other metabolic risk factors were not statistically significant, including waist circumference, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein. Conclusions Mindfulness enhancements to a diet-exercise program did not show substantial weight loss benefit but may promote long-term improvement in some aspects of metabolic health in obesity that requires further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-804
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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