Mindful Eating – Conscious Living™ (ME-CL) is a mindfulness-based programme originating in the US which aims to reduce anxiety around food and eating. While the programme is being delivered widely, it has never been tested under research conditions. This study represents the first stage of a larger trial, testing the acceptability or descriptive feasibility of the programme with a UK sample.
Following ethical approval, three focus groups (n = 12) were held in late 2018 with adult women in the UK with an interest in mindfulness and/or (un)healthy eating. Participants were asked to read an overview of the ME-CL programme and session plans from two classes before the group. During the groups, they were asked for their views on the appropriateness and clarity of the language used, the novelty and relevance of the programme, and whether any changes were needed. The focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed, to be analysed thematically in light of the research aims.
Analysis is ongoing, and will be reported in more detail in the conference poster. Initial results indicate that, while some minor changes may be needed to accommodate differences in language, no major changes were felt to be required. However, the data does suggest some useful points of consideration for mindful eating teachers in the UK.
Subclinical disordered eating, or dis-ease around food and eating, is widespread. ME-CL shows initial promise to address this, but further research is needed to test its efficacy and feasibility.