Bound Volume Number
Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Dr. Sudha Raj
Dr. Katherine McDonald
Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sport and Human Dynamics
mindfulness, vegetarian, vegan
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition
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.
Hatanaka, Miho, "A Study to Explore Mindfulness among Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Students on a College Campus" (2015). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 873.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.