Creating new tools for healthy eating

A selection of healthy eating options on a table

With over 60 percent of the British population classed as overweight, psychology academics at Birmingham City University are leading a programme to improve treatments and encourage healthy eating.

Timely research

Doctors Helen Egan and Michael Mantzios’s research comes at a crucial time, with obesity becoming an increasingly prevalent concern.

In the UK alone, 62 percent of people are classed as overweight (with 25 percent falling into the ‘obese’ category). This leads to a number of health issues, from type 2 diabetes to strokes.

Egan and Mantzios, readers in Psychology at BCU, also aims to ease the burden on health authorities. Currently, the NHS spends £5.1 billion on treating obesity and related illnesses.

Mindfulness in healthy eating

Egan and Mantzios are working with a number of international organisations, including University Hospitals Birmingham, Australian Catholic University and Fitness Vitae Mexico.

So far, the team have created a number of mindfulness-based interventions for healthy eating. They include:

  •  A Mindful Construal Diary (MCD) which can be used either prior to or during eating. This helps the user get grounded into the meal they are about to have, proposing a mindful eating practice.
  • The Mindful Chocolate Practice (MCP), based on the Mindful Raisin Practice, which was developed to engage people into mindful eating through traditional contemplative practices.

This practice assisted people to eat less throughout two laboratory experiments.

If you would like to access the mindful eating tools, complete a short survey and download your chosen tool.