In an effort to combat the rising rates of obesity across the United Kingdom, a team of researchers at Birmingham City University developed new tools capable of facilitating healthier eating patterns along with mindfulness techniques.
In the new study, researchers proposed two new tools: Mindful Construal Diary and the Mindful Chocolate Practice.
With the first tool, known as Construal Diary, it helps enable mindful eating practices, moderating the intake of high-calorie foods. The Mindful Chocolate Practice, on the other end, focuses on the experience of eating and the sensations associated with food consumption.
According to their results, the study determined that people are less likely to overeat chocolate immediately following a mindfulness exercise.
“The research aims to assist a natural return to the habitual tendency to eat when our bodies are in need for food, so respond to physiological signals of hunger, and to create a mindful and pleasurable experience of every meal and snack that we consume,” Michael Mantzios stated in a news release.
“This way, we are enabling people to regulate the amount and quality of the food they consume, and assist in overcoming typical pitfalls that are leading to obesity such as emotional or environmentally-induced (over)eating.”
As of 2020, the CDC estimates that nearly 40 percent of young adults aged 20 to 39 meet the criteria for obesity, with that number being higher among middle-aged adults. The rates of obesity have increased substantially over the last two decades and is expected to surge, CDC estimates show.