In a randomized clinical trial of women who were overweight or obese, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) increased mindfulness and decreased stress compared with health education. In addition, fasting blood sugar levels decreased within the MBSR group, but not within the health education group.
In the study, 86 women were randomized to 8 weeks of MBSR or health education, and they were followed for 16 weeks. While MBSR significantly reduced stress and had beneficial effects on blood sugar levels, there were no significant changes in blood pressure, weight, or insulin resistance.
“Our study suggests that MBSR lowers perceived stress and blood sugar in women with overweight or obesity. This research has wider implications regarding the potential role of MBSR in the prevention and treatment of diabetes in patients with obesity,” said Dr. Nazia Raja-Khan, lead author of the Obesity study.