Impacts of a mindful eating intervention on healthy food-related behaviors and mindful eating practices among elementary school children
A Pilot Study
Background and Purpose: Mindful eating approaches encourage paying purposeful attention on purpose to body sensations, thoughts and emotions related to food and eating. The current study examined the impact of Foodie U, a mindful-eating intervention, among elementary school children and their families. Methods: A total of 178 third- through fifth grade children and their parents in rural northern California participated in Foodie U. The quasi-experimental intervention included two parent workshops, six monthly in-class mindful eating lessons and activities, and mindful eating activities to complete at home. Outcomes included food consumption, mindful-eating practices, emotional eating, and cue-elicited food craving among children. Results: T-tests and linear regression results revealed that students who received the intervention reported significantly less intense craving responses, especially among female and Hispanic students. The impact of the intervention on food craving was significant after controlling for gender and ethnicity. Fruit consumption significantly increased among intervention students. The mindful eating awareness score significantly increased among female intervention students. Conclusions: Foodie U had a positive impact on some food-related behaviors among elementary school-aged students. Further research is needed to examine the effectiveness of each element of the intervention.
Copyright (c) 2019 Shannon Pierson, Keiko Goto, Joan Giampaoli, Shelly Hart, Alyson Wylie
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