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Alcohol consumption among young adult college students represents a significant public health problem. The presence of alcohol-related cues in drinkers' environments can trigger powerful alcohol cravings, which may influence drinking outcomes. Less is known about how this cue-induced craving influences behavioral economic demand for alcohol. In addition, research has suggested that trait mindfulness may be an important buffer of the effects of internal states of craving on drinking decisions. Based on this literature, we hypothesized that cue-induced cravings would be associated with increased alcohol demand, an effect that would be attenuated among drinkers who have higher levels of mindfulness. Young adult college student drinkers (n = 69) completed a laboratory-based cue-induced craving assessment, a self-report assessment of trait mindfulness, and an alcohol purchase task. Findings revealed that cue-induced craving was related to higher alcohol demand. Consistent with the study hypothesis, acceptance, a component of mindfulness, buffered the effects of cue-induced craving on alcohol demand. Results raise the possibility that mindfulness-based interventions may be useful in helping disrupt the link between internal states of craving and drinking decisions in young adult college student drinkers.
CONTEXT: Although researchers have not yet examined the applicability of mindfulness for weight-gain prevention, mindfulness training has the potential to increase an individual's awareness of factors that enable an individual to avoid weight gain caused by overconsumption.OBJECTIVE: The study intended to examine the effects of 1 h of mindfulness training on state mindfulness and food consumption. METHODS: The research team performed a pilot study. SETTING: The study occurred at an urban, northeastern, Catholic university. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 26 undergraduate, English-speaking students who were at least 18 y old (77% female, 73% Caucasian). Students with food allergies, an inability to fast, or a current or past diagnosis of an eating disorder were ineligible. INTERVENTION: Participants fasted for 4 h. Between the third and fourth hours, they attended a 1-h session of mindfulness training that integrated three experiential mindfulness exercises with group discussion. Following training, they applied the skills they learned during a silent lunch. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The Toronto Mindfulness Scale (TMS), the Awareness subscale of the Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale (PHLMS-AW), and a modified version of the Acting with Awareness subscale of the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ-AW) were used preand posttraining to assess changes in state mindfulness, present-moment awareness, and mealtime awareness, respectively. A postmeal, subjective hunger/fullness Likert scale was used to assess food consumption (healthy vs unhealthy consumption). RESULTS: The study found a statistically significant increase in state mindfulness (P=.002). Eighty-six percent of participants engaged in healthy food consumption. No statistically significant changes occurred in either present-moment awareness (P=.617) or mealtime awareness (P=.483). CONCLUSION: Preliminary results suggest promising benefits for use of mindfulness training on weight-gain prevention in healthy individuals. More research is needed to understand the impact that mindfulness may have on long-term, weight-gain prevention.