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Effectiveness of the Mindful Eating Program for Health: a pragmatic randomized controlled study with mixed methods

Grant number: 23/08348-8
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2023 - November 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Psychological Treatment and Prevention
Principal Investigator:Ana Regina Noto
Grantee:Ana Regina Noto
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Vera Lucia Morais Antonio de Salvo

Abstract

Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBI) have shown good results for eating behavior and other health benefits. Although consolidated in the United States and Europe, there are still few studies on Mindful Eating Protocols in Brazil. This project has as the main objective to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mindful Eating for Health (MEH), compared to a Nutritional Education Program (NEP) and a Control Group (CG), in eating behavior and other health benefits. We also seek to investigate the interaction of participants with the MEH. To this end, a mixed methods study will be carried out, which will include a pragmatic randomized controlled trial, with 270 health and administrative staff, of both sexes and aged between 20 and 59 years, from a hospital in the city of São Paulo. Participants will be randomized into three groups (MEH, NPP and CG, 90 in each). Anthropometric (waist circumference and body mass index) and psychometric (eating behavior, mindfulness, anxiety, depression, self-care, self-compassion, perceived stress) measurements will be evaluated pre and post-interventions and longitudinally (3, 6 and 12 months after interventions). For comparison pre and post intervention, paired t test will be used, for comparison over time, the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures and for comparisons between the three groups, ANOVA. For pre- and post-intervention categorical variables or over time, the McNemar test will be applied, and for comparisons between the three groups, the chi-square test or Fisher's exact test. Qualitative data will also be collected from the 90 MEH participants through collective interviews and field observation, and individual interviews with those who dropped out of both programs. The contents of the interviews will be recorded and later transcribed verbatim. Observations during interventions will be recorded in field diaries. Records will be submitted to content analysis, with categorization, coding and triangulation by pairs. For systematization of the qualitative analysis, the NVivo software will be used. (AU)

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