Awareness Of Eating Habits Could Lower Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Americans can greatly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease by paying closer attention to the foods they consume throughout the day - according to a new study.
Researchers at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine claim that sedentary lifestyles - along with typical social gatherings where foods high in calories are easily available - can cause people to fall into poor eating habits. When combined with the stress and distractions of daily life, the study suggests that taking the time to be more present and aware of what you are about to eat can enable you to make smarter and healthier choices.
"Whether eating snacks while watching the game or grazing by the dessert tray at the office event, we often find ourselves overeating not because we're hungry, but because the food looks delicious, we're distracted, or we wish to soothe away unpleasant feelings," said Dr. Jennifer Daubenmier, lead researcher of the study. "Our study suggests that mindful eating can go further than making healthy food choices and recognizing when we're full; it could improve glucose levels and heart health to a greater extent than behavioral weight-loss programs that do not teach mindful eating."
Mindfulness over matter
The researchers observed a reduction in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular symptoms in participants who had been trained to think mindfully about food and how it made them feel in the moment. The participants showed positive results for fasting blood glucose and the ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol - both of which are linked to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
"Most behavioral weight-loss interventions do not place as much emphasis on managing mindless eating, and previous studies on the topic have not included attention controls or long term follow-up to better study the contribution of mindfulness components over time," said Deborah Tate, a spokesperson for The Obesity Society. "This research points to some of the potential benefits of enhancing the mindfulness components of behavioral weight loss."