The role of body awareness and mindfulness in the relationship between exercise and eating behavior

Rachel Martin, Ivanka Prichard, Amanda Hutchinson, Carlene Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study examined the potential mediating roles of mindfulness and body awareness in the relationship between exercise and eating behavior. Female exercisers (N = 159) recruited from fitness centers, yoga centers, and the community completed a questionnaire incorporating measures of exercise behavior, body awareness, trait mindfulness, mindful eating, dietary intake, and disordered eating symptoms. Participation in yoga was associated with significantly lower disordered eating (mediated by body awareness), whereas the amount of time spent participating in cardio-based exercise was associated with greater eating disturbance. The relationships between amount of exercise and actual food intake were not mediated by trait mindfulness or body awareness. The differential findings for dietary intake and disordered eating indicate that the body awareness cultivated in different forms of exercise may be more beneficial for clinical populations or those at risk for eating disorders than for modifying actual dietary intake in the general population.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)655-660
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
    Volume35
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

    Keywords

    • Aerobics
    • Dietary intake
    • Disordered eating
    • Yoga

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