The effects of three mindfulness skills on chocolate cravings

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APA Citation: 

Lacaille, J., Ly, J., Zacchia, N., Bourkas, S., Glaser, E., & Knäuper, B. (2014). The effects of three mindfulness skills on chocolate cravings. Appetite, 76, 101-112.

Publication Topic: 
CBS: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Mindfulness, Mindfulness skills, Mindfulness mechanism, Disidentification, Food cravings, Craving reduction

There is accumulating evidence that mindfulness-based interventions are useful in reducing food cravings. However, existing studies have applied many mindfulness skills together, rendering it unclear which skills are essential and which are unnecessary. Based on recent investigations into the efficacy of individual mindfulness skills at managing cravings, the goal of the present study was to compare the efficacy of two-week mindfulness-based interventions, targeting different combinations of specific mindfulness skills (awareness, acceptance, disidentification), at reducing trait and state chocolate cravings. We compared the efficacy of the mindfulness interventions to an active control intervention (distraction). Overall, disidentification emerged as the most efficacious mindfulness skill. After two weeks of practice, those trained in disidentification reported less intense state cravings after a craving induction task compared with those trained in distraction. Mediation analyses revealed that this effect was mediated first by a greater increase in the disidentification skill, and subsequently by a greater decrease in trait chocolate cravings. Manipulation checks revealed that training the disidentification skill was more successful than training the other skills. Disidentification is shown to be a crucial mindfulness skill that can be taught to help better cope with food cravings.

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