Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Hollie Raynor

Committee Members

Elizabeth Anderson-Steeves, Sarah Colby


Research on restrained eating has led to the belief that an eating style that relies on physiological cues of hunger and fullness may enhance dietary outcomes as compared to an eating style that relies on cognitive control. Two types of interventions have been developed to assist with the development of an eating style that relies on cues of physiological need. These interventions focus on mindful eating (ME) and intuitive eating (IE). This systematic review examined how ME and IE interventions influence dietary intake, and how well the interventions influenced ME and IE by reporting outcomes when they were assessed with a validated tool. The selection of literature followed the PRISMA systematic review process, in which PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO databases were searched. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: randomized trial design, in which one arm was an intervention with an ME or IE component and there was at least one other arm that was a control or active comparison; enrolled participants were of a healthy weight or with overweight or obesity and were at least 18 years of age; and outcomes of energy intake or diet quality were reported at baseline and post-intervention. A total of 14 studies, represented by 15 articles, were included, which were comprised of 9 ME interventions and 5 IE interventions. Eight studies, representing 9 articles, reported on energy intake, with six studies reporting no significant differences between groups. Twelve studies, representing 13 articles, reported on diet quality, with 7 studies reporting no significant differences between groups. Four studies measured ME and IE with a validated tool, which revealed ME or IE interventions did not consistently increase ME or IE. Overall, evidence suggests that ME and IE interventions do not influence dietary intake; however, future research using validated tools to measure ME and IE is needed. Without the measurement of ME or IE, it is hard to conclude whether participants adopt the ME and IE approaches, and what effect these interventions have on dietary intake. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42019128135

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