Feds Spend $246,070 Getting Kids to Stop “Emotional Eating” by Meditating
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has received roughly $250,000 from taxpayers to prevent kids from overeating by practicing mindfulness and keeping food diaries.
Kent State University received a grant for the project last week, which plans to combat obesity in poor teens through mindfulness, or “being completely aware of what’s happening in the present – of all that’s going on inside and all that’s happening around you.”
“Adolescents from low-income backgrounds experience disproportionately high rates of obesity and the accompanying host of cardiometabolic and psychosocial consequences, yet efficacious behavioral weight control interventions for these youths are lacking. Given the profound stressors experienced by obese low- income adolescents, and the propensity for chronic stress to interfere with weight management through biological and behavioral mechanisms, a crucial next step in adolescent behavioral weight management may be to adequately address the role of stress, potentially through the application of mindfulness interventions,” said the official statement of the project.
The money ($246,070) received for the project “Reducing Emotional Eating in Obese Low-Income Adolescents With Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Weight Management,” would be spent to train kids to meditate so they do not engage in “emotional eating.”
Researchers call the study not only “novel,” but “innovative”, though some similar techniques have already been used earlier by NIH for overcoming stress.
“Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction holds promise to improve standard behavioral weight control (SBWC) in low-income adolescents but has not been adapted for adolescent weight management—demonstrating both the novel and innovative nature of the proposed study,” according to the grant.
The study will test teens between the ages of 13 and 17 to “focally target emotional eating and improve weight management outcomes.” The kids will endure a 16-week “mindfulness based weight control intervention,” where they will complete “weekly food monitoring logs.”
The grant for the project was awarded on Jan. 19. Research will continue through December 2020.