Mindfulness: A Long-term Solution for Mindless Eating by College Students

Mindfulness: A Long-term Solution for Mindless Eating by College Students

Mindfulness: A Long-term Solution for Mindless Eating by College Students

Shalini Bahl, George R. Milne, Spencer M. Ross, and Kwong Chan

Abstract

The authors draw from psychology, neuroscience, and consumer behavior to explain howmindfulness as a trait and practice impacts people’s cognitive processing and behavior. Anexploratory study examines how mindfulness practices could be applied to the marketing and public policy issue of mindless eating habits of college students. A mindfulness scale adaptedfrom clinical psychology is presented and used to measure levels of students’ mindfulness traitsand their relationship both to mindless eating habits and to self-reported levels of stress. Thesame study is repeated with a group of students who have been practicing mindfulness. Thefindings show that mindfulness is negatively related to overeating and skipping meals. Further,engaging in poor eating habits is lower for students who practice mindfulness. The authorsoutline a direction for future scholarship that incorporates mindfulness to address marketing and public policy issues in the domain of eating behaviors.

Keywords: mindfulness, eating behaviors, stress

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