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Regular Yoga Practice Is Associated With Mindful Eating
Date:8/7/2009

r exercise or transportation for at least 90 minutes per week and more than 50 percent engaged in more than 90 minutes of moderate and/or strenuous physical activity per week.

The average weight of the study participants was within the normal range - not surprising considering that the study sample intentionally consisted of people more physically active than the U.S. population in general. Body-mass index was lower among participants who practiced yoga as compared to those who did not (an average of 23.1 vs. 25.8, respectively).

Higher scores on the mindfulness questionnaire overall (and on each of the categories within the questionnaire) was associated with a lower BMI, which suggests that mindful eating may play an important role in long-term weight maintenance, Kristal said.

"Mindful eating is a skill that augments the usual approaches to weight loss, such as dieting, counting calories and limiting portion sizes. Adding yoga practice to a standard weight-loss program may make it more effective," said Kristal, who himself scored high on the mindful-eating survey and has a BMI within the normal range.

Moving forward, Kristal and colleagues suggest that their Mindful Eating Questionnaire, the first tool of its kind to characterize and measure mindful eating, may be useful both in clinical practice and research to understand and promote healthy dietary behavior.

"Beyond calories and diets, mindful eating takes a more holistic approach that can empower individuals to build positive relationships with food and eating," said first author Celia Framson, M.P.H., R.D., C.D., a former graduate student of Kristal's - and former yoga teacher - who now works with adolescents with eating disorders at Seattle Children's Hospital. "The Mindful Eating Questionnaire offers a new and relevant dimension for measuring the effectiveness of dietary behavior interventions. It also encourages n
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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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