Feds Spend $246,070 Getting Kids to Stop 'Emotional Eating' by Meditating

Study trains teens to practice mindfulness and keep food diaries

Children meditating / Getty Images
January 22, 2019

The National Institutes of Health is spending roughly $250,000 in an attempt to train kids to meditate so they do not engage in "emotional eating."

Kent State University received a grant for the project last week, which plans to combat obesity in poor teens through mindfulness.

The project, "Reducing Emotional Eating in Obese Low-Income Adolescents With Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Weight Management," received $246,070 from taxpayers.

Researchers call the study, which will train kids to meditate and keep food diaries, not only "novel," but "innovative."

"Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction holds promise to improve standard behavioral weight control (SBWC) in low-income adolescents but has not been adapted for adolescent weight management—demonstrating both the novel and innovative nature of the proposed study," according to the grant.

The study will test teens between the ages of 13 and 17. The kids will endure a 16-week "mindfulness based weight control intervention," where they will complete "weekly food monitoring logs."

The purpose of the study is to "focally target emotional eating and improve weight management outcomes."

The grant for the project was awarded on Jan. 19. Research will continue through December 2020.