Advertisement

P14 Mindful Eating Scores Differ by Body Mass Index and Self-Reported Health Status Among College Students

      Background

      The prevalence of overweight and obesity continues to rise among college students. College students are also adopting mindfulness habits, such as yoga and mindful meditation, at higher rates than the general population. Mindful eating is a “non-dieting” approach that focuses on paying attention to the body's internal hunger and satiety cues, while enjoying the food without distraction.

      Objective

      The purpose of this study was to understand whether mindful eating is related to weight and health status among college students.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Six hundred and ninety college students participated in an online survey.

      Outcome Measures/Analysis

      The survey included: the Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ), a validated global health question, self-report of weight and height, and demographics. Mindful eating was reported on a five-point Likert scale where higher scores represented higher mindful eating practices. Multiple regression analysis was used to test for significant differences in mindful eating scores by weight status and health status after adjusting for demographics.

      Results

      Among respondents, 19.6% rated their health as fair or poor and 67.8%, 20.7%, and 11.5% were classified as healthy weight, overweight, or obese, respectively. After adjusting for demographics, MEQ scores were significantly higher among students reporting their health as excellent/very good/good vs fair/poor (3.4 ± 0.4 vs 3.2 ± 0.4, P < .0001). MEQ scores were significantly different between weight status categories where students in the healthy weight range (3.4 ± 0.4) had significantly higher scores than their overweight (3.3 ± 0.1, P = .003) or obese counterparts (3.2 ± 0.4, P < .0001).

      Conclusions

      Among college students, mindful eating scores were slightly higher for students at a healthy weight and reporting good health compared to their counterparts. Thus, mindful eating interventions may be an effective strategy for addressing overweight and obesity in a university setting.
      Funding: None.

      Appendix. Supplementary data