Dr. Broussard was interviewed for an article about stress reduction, mindful eating and body weight. The article was about a UCSF study that found that mastering stress-reduction and mindful eating techniques can help prevent weight gain in overweight and obese women, even without dieting. The goal of the study was to reduce eating in response to emotions or external cues that typically drive overeating behavior. The participants were all chronically stressed at the beginning of the study. The intervention group participated in weekly 2.5 hour sessions about how to reduce stress, and be more aware of their eating by recognizing bodily sensations such as taste satisfaction, fullness, and hunger. The women were also asked to meditate for 30 minutes each day and to practice mindful eating during their meals.
After nine weeks, the researchers found that those who had greater improvements in listening to their bodies’ cues, or greater reductions in stress or cortisol, experienced the greatest reductions in deep abdominal fat, which is a dangerous type of fat because it is associated with an increased risk for developing diabetes or heart disease. Dr. Broussard explained in the article that “the findings demonstrate developing techniques for reducing stress can prevent patients from gaining weight. Stress eating is one reason why losing or maintaining weight is very difficult for some patients.”