196751 Intuitive eating: A novel health promotion strategy for obese women

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:10 AM

Janell Mensinger, PhD , Department of Health Sciences and Health Administration, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Heather A. Close, BS , Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
James Ku, MD , Weight Management Center, Reading Hospital and Medical Center, Reading, PA
Kelly Bliss, MEd , CEO, Work It Out, Inc., Lansdowne, PA
BACKGROUND: With obesity rates at an all time high, it is imperative to gather data on new methods for effectively promoting health in this population. Consequently, a growing number of researchers have called for a closer look at adaptive eating strategies. Intuitive eating is a recently defined and validated construct that is inversely related to, although distinct from, the absence of eating disorder pathology. Intuitive eaters (i.e., those who use physiological cues of hunger and satiety to guide their eating patterns) have been shown to have lower BMIs and higher scores on measures of well-being. METHODS: For the present study, the construct of intuitive eating was examined among a sample of 80 obese women currently participating in a randomized controlled trial comparing the health benefits of a self-care focused intervention versus a traditional weight loss intervention. The sample was recruited primarily by advertising in a coupon magazine delivered to households in a semi-rural county in Pennsylvania. Participants are primarily white (96%); many attended at least some college (65%). The mean age of participants is 39.6 years (SD=4.1; range 30-45), and the mean BMI is 38 (SD=3.9; range 30-45). RESULTS: Analysis of baseline data suggest intuitive eating is positively associated with self esteem (r=.43, p<.001), and negatively associated with uncontrolled and emotional eating (r=-.60, p<.001; r=-.63, p<.001, respectively). Using logistic regression, the data demonstrated that individuals scoring higher on the Intuitive Eating Scale were less likely to report binge eating (OR=.25, p=.04). Furthermore, a negative association was found between intuitive eating and scores on the Power of Food scale, which measures the degree to which the availability and presence of food controls ones thoughts, attention, and behavior (r=-.55, p<.001). Marginal negative associations were also found between intuitive eating and depression, anxiety, and stress (r=-.22, p=.05; r=-.19; p=.09, r=-20; p=.07, respectively). Post-intervention data will be analyzed to determine the effectiveness of self-care focus versus weight loss focus on adaptive eating behaviors. DISCUSSION: This study underscores the importance of avoiding prescriptive diets by positing intuitive eating is a novel health improvement strategy that considers the temporality of dieting and negative consequence of weight cycling.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the meaning and usefulness of the construct of intuitive eating 2. Identify psychosocial and behavioral correlates of intuitive eating among a sample of obese women 3. Discuss the results of a randomized controlled trial comparing a novel self-care focused intervention versus a traditional weight loss intervention with respect to adaptive eating patterns

Keywords: Obesity, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: EDUCATION • Ph.D. in Psychology/Concentrations: Health Research & Quantitative Methodology – May 2003, The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York • Postdoctoral Fellow in Health Behavior Research, June 2003-June 2004, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia / University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry • Postdoctoral Fellow in Biostatistics, July 2004-July 2005 University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE • Assistant Professor, 2005-2007, Taught "Public Health of Nutrition, Weight, and Eating Behaviors", Masters of Public Health Program, SUNY Downstate Medical School, Brooklyn, NY • Director of Research, 2007-present, Reading Hospital and Medical Center • Research Assistant Professor, 2009-present, Thomas Jefferson University, Division of Biostatistics CURRENT RESEARCH FUNDING •Principal Investigator, Comparative health improvements and rate of relapse in weight-centered vs. wellness centered interventions, Edna G. Kynett Memorial Foundation for Cardiovascular disease prevention, 2008-2011 SELECTED PUBLICATIONS •Mensinger, J.L. (2001). Conflicting gender role prescriptions and disordered eating in single sex and coeducational school environments. Gender and Education, 13(4), 417-429. • Mensinger, J.L. (2005). Disordered eating and gender socialization in school environments: A multilevel mediation model. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management (Special Issue on Social Contexts and Health Behaviors), 28(1), 30-40. • Grier S.A., Mensinger, J.L., Huang, S.H., Kumanyika, S.K., & Stettler, N. (2007). Fast food marketing and fast food consumption: Exploring differences in an ethnically diverse sample. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 26, 221-235. • Mensinger, J.L., Bonifazi, D.Z., & LaRosa, J. (2007). Perceptions of gender role prescriptions at school, the superwoman ideal, and disordered eating among adolescent females. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 57, 557-568. • Mensinger, J.L. (2008). Feminist perspectives and body image disorders. In K. Keller & G. Golson (Eds), Encyclopedia of obesity, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc. • Dinkevich, E., Mensinger, J.L. (2008). Infant growth and childhood overweight. In K. Keller & G. Golson (Eds), Encyclopedia of obesity, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc. SELECTED PRESENTATIONS • Mensinger, J.L. (Aug., 2001). Growing up female: Reflections on education, culture, and the body. Paper presentation at the Annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA • Persad, M.D., Mensinger, J.L. (October, 2008). Food insecurity, dietary quality, & psychosocial factors among urban pregnant women. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. Selected for the Greg Alexander Outstanding Students Paper Session and won first place cash prize. San Diego, CA • Mensinger, J.L. (Aug., 2004). Context matters: Lessons on relational functioning in young women with eating disorders. Roundtable discussion leader at the Annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI • Mensinger, J.L. & Dinkevich, E. (Oct., 2007). Maternal Feeding Practices and Infantile Obesity. Poster presentation at the Annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. New Orleans, LA • Mensinger, J.L. (Feb., 2008). The ‘skinny’ on weight, diets, and cardiovascular disease. Invited Lecture, The 2008 Cardiovascular Disease Update, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center, Reading, PA. • Mensinger, J.L., Kostynuk, C. (July, 2008). Research update: Plans for a randomized controlled trial of a health at every size program. Workshop presentation at the Annual meeting of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, Los Angeles, CA
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.