Evaluating the Cultural Applicability of a Mindful Eating Intervention: A Comparison of Asian and Caucasian College Women Open Access

Choi, Yejin (Spring 2022)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/12579t61w?locale=en


App-based mindful eating interventions have increasingly established themselves as an effective extension to treatments for eating pathology. However, the potential for differential effectiveness of this intervention type across different cultural identities has been severely understudied. In particular, Asian women’s experiences with eating disorders have not been well described. The present study set out to address this gap in the literature by evaluating the cultural applicability of a mindful eating intervention as used by Asian and Caucasian college women. The specific intervention used was the Mindful Eating Coach (MEC), developed by the Healthy Eating and Weight Support (HEWS) Lab at Emory University. The intervention’s effectiveness was assessed by comparing Asian and Caucasian participants on variables of eating pathology (i.e., dietary intent, anorectic cognitions, binge eating, and preoccupation with eating/weight/shape), a measure of weight discrepancy, and self-compassion. Feedback on app acceptability was also assessed. The intervention was not differentially effective for Asian and Caucasian participants on any of the intervention outcomes. Both groups improved similarly on the three primary measures of eating pathology and on self-compassion. In addition, greater self- compassion was associated with decreases in eating pathology. These findings are promising and suggest that the MEC and other app-based mindful eating interventions may be acceptable and effective for a range of populations. Some limitations of this study were the lack of acculturation measures and the use of a relatively homogenous university sample that included a fairly wide range of Asian women from different cultures. Continued investigation of sociocultural variables that may relate to Asian women’s eating behaviors and weight concerns is warranted. 

Table of Contents

Introduction ······································ 1

Background ······································ 1

Methods ·········································· 22

Results ············································ 33

Discussion ········································ 38

Conclusions ······································ 47

References········································ 49

Table 1 ············································ 63

Table 2 ············································ 64

Table 3 ············································ 65

Table 4 ············································ 66

Table 5 ············································ 67 

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