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15-07-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 11/2019

Mindfulness 11/2019

The Effect of Brief Mindfulness Training on Brain Reactivity to Food Cues During Nicotine Withdrawal: A Pilot Functional Imaging Study

Mindfulness > Uitgave 11/2019
Emily A Kragel, Maggie M Sweitzer, James M Davis
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-019-01201-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-019-01245-0.

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Many individuals who smoke relapse due to weight gain. Mindfulness training has been shown to help smokers quit smoking and, in other populations, has been used to help people lose weight. This study was designed to assess the effect of 1 week of mindfulness practice on food cravings in smokers during 12-hour smoking abstinence.


We assessed daily smokers with a history of smoking lapse after weight gain. Participants were provided with brief training in mindfulness meditation and mindful eating and were asked to practice each skill daily for 1 week. Before and after this week of mindfulness practice, participants completed surveys to rate their nicotine dependence and food cravings and underwent testing via functional magnetic resonance imaging.


Study results included pre–post intervention reduction in brain activity in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, visual areas, and premotor areas, regions potentially associated with response to food images.


The study was small; however, it suggests the possibility that mindfulness training might be used to decrease food cravings after smoking cessation.

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