The Evidence for Intuitive Eating

Traditional weight loss dieting programs are typically ineffective in producing consistent long-term weight loss and maintenance. In addition to being ineffective, dieting often results in psychological distress and disordered eating behaviors. This dieting paradox has led to interest in non-dieting approaches to health and weight.

This past March, the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2014) published “A Review of Interventions that Promote Eating by Internal Cues” by Schafer and Magnuson. The authors reviewed all the published studies that examined intuitive eating interventions. They included all randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-experimental controlled trials, and prospective cohort studies of adults published before December 2012 that taught participants to recognize and follow internal cues of hunger, fullness, and satiety. The authors searched for relevant articles using the terms: intuitive eating, mindful eating, nondiet, non-diet, Health at Every Size weight intervention, and attuned eating. After searching the published literature and excluding non-relevant studies, the authors found 24 relevant articles about 20 different peer-reviewed interventions that they included in the review.

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