Researchers at Augusta University in Georgia are presenting new research showing a link between meditation and weight management, indicating that meditation may prevent obesity. The study examined two groups of adolescents; one group participated in a mindfulness and meditation class, and another, control group participated in standard physical education classes. The meditation group increased their physical activity and decreased their food consumption over a twelve week period. The control group ultimately participated in slightly less physical activity over the twelve weeks. Although this study was conducted on adolescents, other research has indicated similar results for adults.
Study authors credited the increased awareness of both food and activity levels to mindfulness meditation. Participants reported eating less daily and binge-eating less frequently, which researchers tied to increased awareness of hunger and satiation. “This gives us a safe, inexpensive intervention that could be translated into a real-world program for [the] overweight,” said Dr. Vernon A. Barnes, the study’s author and physiologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, adding “if you can make a practice of keeping the awareness with you at every meal, this could benefit you throughout your life.”
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