Date of Award
Dr. Christopher Berghoff
Dr. Sara Lowmaster
Dr. Douglas Peterson
mindfulness, stress, college undergraduates, daily diary, nutritional habits
College students often experience weight gain, which appears to be associated with elevated levels of stress. This stress can be due to exposure to a new environment, increased responsibility, and newfound independence that comes with living away from home. As such, identification of interventions that increase healthy eating behaviors and reduce perceived stress may promote good physical and mental health for college students. Mindfulness meditation, which is associated with lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and subjective anxiety, may be one such strategy. However, no research has examined the effect of the establishment of a mindfulness meditation practice on nutritional choices. The current study aimed to identify changes in college undergraduates’ positive nutritional choices that follow 2 weeks of mindfulness meditation paired with daily food diaries relative to participation in a nutrition-information video plus daily food diaries comparison condition. Results indicated no significant changes in mindfulness, perceived stress, or eating behaviors between groups over time, though analyses were likely hampered by low participant enrollment. Despite unexpected findings, examination of effect sizes (small to large) suggested several potentially fruitful avenues of future research.
Larson, Emily M., "Effect of the Establishment of a 2-week Brief Mindfulness Practice on Positive Nutritional Choices and Perceived Stress in College Undergraduates" (2020). Honors Thesis. 101.