Breaking habits with mindful snacking? An email-based intervention targeting unwanted snacking habits in an Australian sample
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Objective To investigate the potential for an email-based, mindful eating exercise to improve unwanted snacking habits. Method Australian participants (N = 78, 86% female) with unwanted snacking habits engaged in a mindful eating email-based intervention, over a practice period of two weeks. All measures were completed using an online survey. Habit strength was measured using the Self-Report Habit Index (SHRI). Mindful eating was measured using the Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ) and self-compassion was measured using the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). Participants were emailed a mindful eating exercise and asked to make action plans to practice it. Reminders to perform the task were sent via email after one week. After two weeks, the MEQ, SCS and SHRI were readministered. Results Habit strength significantly increased over the two-week period and self-compassion significantly decreased. The amount of practice reported was not associated with these changes, but self-reported effort expended during practice sessions was partially associated. Discussion The intervention resulted in increased habit strength; potential mechanisms underlying these changes are discussed. Decreased self-compassion may be linked to both the electronic delivery of the intervention and the nature of the mindful eating task.
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ This author accepted manuscript is made available following 24 month embargo from date of publication (November 2018) in accordance with the publisher’s archiving policy