Effect of the Establishment of a 2-Week Brief Mindfulness Practice on Positive Nutritional Choices and Perceived Stress in College Freshmen

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College students entering their freshman year 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 for the first time. As such, identification of interventions that affect healthy eating behaviors and perceived stress may promote improved physical and mental health for college students. Mindfulness meditation may be one such strategy. The practice of mindfulness meditation appears effective for decreasing stress and is associated with lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and subjective anxiety. However, no research has examined the effect of the establishment of a mindfulness meditation practice on nutritional choices. By pairing daily mindfulness with daily diary practices, the current study will examine changes in positive nutritional choices of college freshmen compared to a control group. It is hypothesized that mindfulness meditation paired with daily food diaries will increase positive nutritional choices relative to daily food diaries alone. Keywords: mindfulness; stress; college freshmen; daily diary; nutritional habits.

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Christopher Berghoff

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