20-03-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER
Effects of Mindfulness on Negative Affect, Body Dissatisfaction, and Disordered Eating Urges
Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 9/2019Log in om toegang te krijgen
Eating disorders are debilitating mental illnesses characterized by disturbances in eating behaviors and weight regulation. Risk factors associated with disordered eating behaviors include negative affect and body dissatisfaction. Whereas mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to be effective in treating selected eating disorders, few studies have investigated the effects of brief mindfulness training on core features of eating disorders. Using a laboratory experimental design, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of a brief mindfulness induction on negative mood, implicit and explicit body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating urges in a sample of female college students with elevated eating disorder symptoms.
Eighty-one students who met criteria for full or subthreshold diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder were recruited from a large Singaporean university and randomly assigned to either a brief mindful breathing exercise or a resting control condition, following a negative mood induction procedure.
Analyses showed that the mindfulness induction resulted in significantly lower negative affect compared to the control condition, p = .001. There were trends for lower explicit body dissatisfaction and urges to engage in compensatory behaviors in the mindfulness condition versus the control condition. No effects on implicit body dissatisfaction or binge eating urges were observed.
Overall, the findings highlight changes in negative affect as a potential mechanism underlying the effects of mindfulness-based interventions in treating eating disorders.