Mindfulness in Eating Is Inversely Related to Binge Eating and Mood Disturbances in University Students in Health-Related Disciplines

Ifigeneia Giannopoulou, Maria Kotopoulea Nikolaidi, Sofia Daskou, Kathy Martyn, Ashani Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between mindful eating, disordered eating and mood in university students in health-related disciplines. A total of 221 university students participated in the study; 102 students studied sport and exercise science (SS), 54 students pharmacy sciences (PS), and 65 students health sciences (HS). Participants completed the Binge Eating Scale (BES), the Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ), and the Profile of Mood State questionnaire (POMS). 41% of the students were classified as binge eaters and 57% were above the POMS threshold of depression. Binge eaters were found to have significantly lower MEQ score and significantly higher total mood disturbance scores (TMD) compared to non-binge eaters (p < 0.01). Students with a high depression score exhibited no differences in the MEQ score but a significantly higher BES score compared to non-depressed students (p < 0.01). Gender differences were found in the MEQ with females exhibiting significantly higher scores in the MEQ score and in all MEQ subscales compared to males, with the exception of the emotional subscale that females were noted to have a lower score compared to males (p < 0.01). The MEQ score was inversely related to the BES score (r = −0.30, p < 0.01) and TMD (r = −0.21, p < 0.05). The MEQ score was a significant negative predictor of the variance of the binge eating behavior of the students (B = −3.17, p < 0.001). In conclusion, mindfulness in eating is inversely related to the binge eating behavior and mood state of university students studying health-related subjects and is a significant negative predictor of disordered eating behavior in this high risk population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number396
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited


  • university students
  • mindful eating
  • mental health
  • mood disturbances
  • binge eating
  • health-related disciplines
  • Binge eating
  • University students
  • Mental health
  • Health-related disciplines
  • Mindful eating
  • Mood disturbances


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