Mindful Eating Research Tools

Penney Kirby, TCME Member and professional medical librarian, has created an incredibly useful guide to finding articles and research on Mindful Eating and related topics in scholarly literature. Please see below for details on learning to use online tools to find the latest (PubMed indexed) research on topics like mindful eating, meditation, various eating disorders, etc. Thank you, Penney, for offering this as a service to our community.    

We also offer a comprehensive Mindful Eating Bibliography (PDF) on books, "how to" resources, and research compiled through the assistance of Jan Chozen Bays, MD, and Caroline Baerten, RD, both TCME Board Members, along with Elissa Epel, PhD, and several other volunteer students of J. Bays.  

*Please note our Mindful Eating Bibliography is currently under revision*

Thank you to everyone who was involved in bringing these important resources together.  

Mindful Eating in the Scholarly Literature

Research Journals

Mindful eating research is published in a number of academic journals, across multiple disciplines.  Some examples of journals that have published mindful eating articles:

You can use the links above to view the current table of contents, sign up for an email alert, read a sample issue or articles, or review submission guidelines.

Bibliographic Databases

In order to do a comprehensive literature search, it is necessary to search multiple bibliographic databases. Many of these databases are available through licensing agreements with academic, healthcare, and research facilities, or public libraries. It is ideal if you are able to work with a Librarian to define your research question, and decide which bibliographic databases you will use. Some examples of relevant bibliographic databases:

  • Current Contents: Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • ERIC - Education Resources Information Center (free on the web)
  • Google Scholar (free on the web - a good starting point but not as comprehensive or methodological as the other bibliographic databases)
  • Nutrition Abstracts and Reviews Series
  • PsycINFO/Psychological Abstracts
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection
  • PubMed/MEDLINE (free on the web – more information below)
  • Social Sciences Citation Index


PubMed, also called MEDLINE, is a free, web-based database of the life sciences and biomedical research literature. It provides bibliographic information, detailed abstracts, and occasionally links to full text articles. PubMed also includes psychological, behavioral, counseling, and dietetics journals and is therefore very important for keeping up to data on mindfulness eating research.

Example PubMed Searches

Note these searches are broadly defined and will include some irrelevant records. Talk to a Librarian about developing a more precise search. After each search I have included the search string.

Note - there is no PubMed search term for the concept of mindful eating. Mindfulness was added as a search term in 2014, and was previously indexed as Cognitive Therapy.

  •  Mindful Eating (most narrowly defined) – (("mindfulness"[MeSH Terms] OR “mindfulness”[Title] OR “mindful”[Title]) OR ("intuition"[MeSH Terms] OR “intuitive”[Title])) AND ("eating"[MeSH Terms] OR "eating"[Title] OR “hunger"[MeSH Terms] OR "food preferences"[MeSH Terms] OR "feeding behavior"[MeSH Terms] OR "diet"[MeSH Terms] OR "weight loss"[MeSH Terms] OR "appetite"[MeSH Terms] OR "eating disorders"[MeSH Terms] OR (Food habits[MeSH Terms] NOT Smoking[MeSH Terms])
  •  Cognitive Therapy and Eating Disorders - "cognitive therapy"[MeSH Terms] AND "eating disorders"[MeSH Terms]
  • Cognitive Therapy and Dieting - "cognitive therapy"[MeSH Terms] AND "diet, reducing"[MeSH Terms]
  • Cognitive Therapy and Diabetes - "cognitive therapy"[MeSH Terms] AND "Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2"[MeSH Terms]

Tips for Searching PubMed

1. Type some key ideas into the search bar at the top of the homepage - for example body image and shame.

2. You may choose to limit the results by using various filters that are available on the left side of the search results page. Some popular filters are:

  •  Article Type - Systematic review
  • Text Availability - Free full text available
  •  Publications Dates - 5 years
  •   Languages - English
  •  Ages – Adolescent

3. If you want to be more precise, check how the articles you are interested in are indexed by PubMed. Open up the record of the article (it is best if it is a year post-publication to ensure PubMed has caught up with the indexing). At the bottom of the record click on "Publication Types, MeSH Terms" - the list of MeSH Terms are how PubMed has indexed this article. You may want to consider using these terms in your search.

Example MeSH subject headings of interest:

  • Mindfulness
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Mind-Body Therapies
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Empathy
  • Self-Concept
  •  Eating
  •  Food Habits
  •  Feeding Behavior
  •  Food Preferences
  •  Hunger
  • Appetite
  •  Satiation
  •  Diet
  •  Diet, Reducing
  •  Weight Reduction Programs
  •  Weight Loss
  •  Eating Disorders
  •  Binge-Eating Disorder

4. Some articles are available in full text on the web; check the upper right corner of the record page. A link there will either take you to full text for free, or a publishing site that will sell you access to the article. Check with your Librarian before paying, he or she may be able to get the article for free.

5. Sign up for a PubMed/NCBI account to store PubMed searches and receive automatic email updates when new articles are published on topics of interest to you.

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