Disordered eating is prevalent among US Military Veterans who have a high incidence of obesity, diabetes, and mental illness. Mindfulness is an evidenced-based intervention for some mental health disorders, is well received by Veterans, and may be useful in treating disordered eating behavior in this population. The aim of this study was to assess and describe Veterans’ experience with MB-SAVOR, a novel mindfulness-based eating program, and determine if it improved their relationship with food and the body.
In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted among 16 Veterans completing the program. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using constant comparative method, an iterative and inductive process. Rapid assessment process was used to understand their views on program structure. Inferential statistics were conducted to assess outcomes of pre-topost-intervention weight, BMI, and HbA1C, and influences of demographics.
Five themes were identified related to experience: Awareness of Eating Cues, Noticing Eating Behaviors and Patterns, Greater Enjoyment of Food, Dietary Improvements, and Mind Body Connection. Four themes were identified related to program structure: Reasons for Enrollment, Prior Experiences and Comparison with MB-SAVOR, Program Information, Impression, and Barriers, and Improvement Suggestions. Clinical outcomes were decreased weight (p = 0.007, d = 0.82), BMI (p = 0.004, d = 0.9), and HbA1C (p = 0.3) post-intervention.
These findings contribute to our understanding of the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of MB-SAVOR on improving Veterans’ relationship with food and the body. These data help us understand Veterans’ perspectives and motivations regarding treatment engagement for several diet related problems contributing to obesity and diabetes.

Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Ltd.