Two decades of mindfulness-based interventions for binge eating: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Dominique Grohmann, Keith R Laws

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are being increasingly used as interventions for eating disorders including binge eating. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess two decades of research on the efficacy of MBIs in reducing binge eating severity.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane Library for trials assessing the use of MBIs to treat binge eating severity in both clinical and non-clinical samples. The systematic review and meta-analysis was pre-registered at PROSPERO (CRD42020182395).

RESULTS: Twenty studies involving 21 samples (11 RCT and 10 uncontrolled samples) met inclusion criteria. Random effects meta-analyses on the 11 RCT samples (n = 618: MBIs n = 335, controls n = 283) showed that MBIs significantly reduced binge eating severity (g = -0.39, 95% CI -0.68, -0.11) at end of trial, but was not maintained at follow-up (g = -0.06, 95% CI, -0.31, 0.20, k = 5). No evidence of publication bias was detected. On the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool 2, trials were rarely rated at high risk of bias and drop-out rates did not differ between MBIs and control groups. MBIs also significantly reduced depression, and improved both emotion regulation and mindfulness ability.

CONCLUSION: MBIs reduce binge eating severity at the end of trials. Benefits were not maintained at follow-up; however, only five studies were assessed. Future well-powered trials should focus on assessing diversity better, including more men and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110592
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Early online date1 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Binge eating
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotion regulation
  • Mindfulness
  • Moderator variables


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