Effects of Mindful Eating and YogaDance among Overweight and Obese Women: An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Trial

Sofie Hauerberg Henninger, Anna Yde Fibieger, Faidon Magkos, Christian Ritz*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Many current treatment options for managing overweight and obesity consist of rather strict diet and exercise regimes that are difficult to implement as a lifelong routine. Therefore, alternative initiatives such as mindful eating and pleasure-oriented physical activity with more focus on implementation and enjoyment are needed to reverse the obesity epidemic. Mindful eating is an approach focusing on inner hunger and satiety signals. YogaDance is a novel exercise approach combining elements of yoga and dance. This study was a randomized controlled trial investigating the individual and combined effects of mindful eating and YogaDance. Participants were healthy, inactive women with overweight or obesity (body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m2 and/or waist circumference ≥ 80 cm) who were randomized to one of four groups for 8 weeks: mindful eating alone, YogaDance alone, the combination of mindful eating and YogaDance, or control. Fat mass was the primary outcome and secondary outcomes included body weight, waist circumference, and other physiological, behavioral, and quality-of-life outcomes. Sixty-one women were included in the study and randomized to mindful eating and YogaDance combined, YogaDance, mindful eating, or control. Fat mass was reduced by 1.3 kg (95% CI [−10.0, 7.3] kg; p = 0.77), 3.0 kg (95% CI [−11.1, 5.1] kg; p = 0.48), and 1.8 kg (95% CI [−10.1, 6.6] kg; p = 0.69) for the mindful eating, YogaDance, and combined mindful eating and YogaDance interventions, respectively, compared to the control, with corresponding effect sizes of 0.15, 0.34, and 0.21. In complete-case analyses, fat percent and waist circumference were reduced whereas mental quality of life and eating behavior were improved for mindful eating and mindful eating and YogaDance combined compared to the control. In conclusion, the study found modest benefits of an 8-week combination of mindful eating and YogaDance, corroborating findings in previous studies on mindful eating, yoga, and dance. However, the study had several limitations that should be taken into consideration, including low power due to a large drop-out as well as low to moderate training load and compliance. The trial was retrospectively registered (ISRCTN87234794).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1646
Issue number7
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 28. Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • dance
  • eating behavior
  • fat mass
  • mental health
  • mindful eating
  • quality of life
  • yoga


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