Bound Volume Number

VII

Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-5-2015

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Sudha Raj

Honors Reader

Dr. Katherine McDonald

Capstone Major

Nutrition Science and Dietetics

Capstone College

Sport and Human Dynamics

Audio/Visual Component

no

Keywords

mindfulness, vegetarian, vegan

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

no

Honors Categories

Professional

Subject Categories

Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition

Abstract

Mindful eating is characterized by being fully present in the moment and using all the senses in the body to taste and savor food. There is a growing interest in the practice of mindful eating as it is shown to be effective for weight management and improving diet. Also in general, studies have shown that vegetarians tend to be more conscious about their food choices. This project, a cross sectional study, examines whether vegetarians exhibit a higher index of mindful eating than non-vegetarians. To conduct this study, 564 self-administered online surveys were collected and evaluated. The survey included both questions regarding students’ dietary choices (vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or vegan) and a validated 28 item Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ). The MEQ had 5 different domains, and each domain had a score range of 1 to 4 where a higher score indicate a higher level of mindful eating. The data was analyzed using a 2-tailed independent sample T-test and ANOVA to evaluate associations between the MEQ score and dietary choices, gender, major, and whether students eat organic food. The mean total MEQ score was 2.78 ± 0.306, with high internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.743) of the questionnaire. There was no statistical significance found between mindful eating and vegetarian diet, gender, or major. However, the study found that people who choose to eat organic foods had higher mean MEQ score (2.81 ± 0.28). The ANOVA results suggest that a small population of vegetarians who choose to eat organic foods (n = 86) may also be more mindful. Taken together, these results indicate a possible correlation between vegetarian diet and mindful eating. Further research is needed to determine whether an association between mindful eating and different motivations for vegetarianism (health, ethical, or environmental) exists.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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