"Research about the effects of mindfulness is becoming ever more robust. Studies suggest that having an awareness of your own physical and mental processes could lead to benefits ranging from lower stress to a protected heart. Now a new study suggests that mindfulness may have an impact on the physical body, showing that people with mindful dispositions have less belly fat and are less likely to be obese.
The research, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, looked at 394 people close to age 50. The men and women are part of the long-term New England Family Study, and researchers have been following them since they were in their mothers' wombs. In the study, the researchers assessed the dispositional mindfulness of the men and women using a standard questionnaire called the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). They also looked at other markers like body fat and weight.
The study authors found that people with low levels of mindfulness had a 34% higher prevalence of obesity compared to people with high levels of mindfulness. They also found that people with low levels of mindfulness had about a pound of extra belly fat compared to those with high levels of mindfulness."