Position Statements on Topics Related to Mindful Eating
is currently a wealth of information about topics surrounding food,
eating, and mindful eating from many sources. Having followed some
lively debates and conversations about these topics, The Center for
Mindful Eating considers it essential to get across a clear message of
what we understand as mindful eating and relevant topics affecting its
practice for our growing community around the world.
These position statements are in alignment with the mission, vision and values of The Center for Mindful Eating. They might not reflect all of our members' views and opinions. It is the hope of The Center for Mindful Eating that these position statements will provide opportunities for meaningful reflection and conversations along the path to a healthy and joyful relationship with food and eating to the benefit of all beings.We welcome the comments and suggestions of our mindful eating community. Current members of The Center for Mindful Eating are invited, and encouraged, to share their responses to these position statements.
It is the position of The Center for Mindful Eating that all bodies, regardless of shape, size, or composition, are deserving of care, respect, and nourishment. And while TCME affirms that the pursuit of health is not a moral imperative, we believe all people deserve access to non-stigmatizing, body-affirming health services. Mindful eating fosters awareness regarding how both food and our eating experiences holistically impact health and wellbeing, including our emotional, mental, physical, nutritional, social, and spiritual health. Mindful eating views weight as an inaccurate representation of health or wellbeing and supports autonomy around food decisions, encouraging individuals to connect to their own inner wisdom to inform what, when, and how much to eat. It encourages individuals to approach food and eating with curiosity and without judgment—abandoning dichotomous beliefs that categorize food as “good” or “bad” and relearning how to recognize and respond to hunger and satiety cues.
TCME does not endorse weight normative approaches to care that use weight, BMI, or weight loss as proxies for health because such approaches:
It is the position of The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME) that healthy eating is enjoyable eating that meets nutritional needs. It utilizes the practice of mindfulness by intentionally bringing awareness to the internal and external environment while eating. This means both being aware of the feedback from the body about what supports its health, including the impact of pleasure, and also of the best available scientific evidence related to nutrition and individual health concerns. The blend of pleasure and nutrition is important for consistency in eating healthfully as well as to optimize digestion, absorption and metabolism of nutrients.
TCME endorses eating, whenever possible, food that is whole and nutritious. TCME supports flexibility around food choices, including eating food that is appropriate to the occasion. TCME recognizes that individual choices are affected by factors that may limit food choices such as economic constraints, religious choices, geography, lifespan and individual preferences. Developing a healthy relationship with food that considers individual circumstances helps foster overall well-being.
Mindful Eating and Nutrition Megrette Fletcher M.Ed, RD, CDE
This position statement was revised following feedback from members, March 2016. Feedback was collected through a member survey and round table discussion.
The Center for Mindful Eating endorses formal mindfulness meditation practices as valuable for the cultivation and practice of mindful eating, and mindful awareness in daily life. It supports awareness of emotional and physical hunger, and satiety cues to help guide decisions on when to begin and end eating.
Mindfulness meditation cultivates attention and awareness of thoughts,
feelings, the body and all the senses without judgment. It encourages
curiosity and cultivates compassion, thus providing a foundation for
This position statement was revised following feedback from members. December 2015. Feedback was collected through survey and round table discussion.
It is the position of The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME) that mindful eating supports health and well-being. The practice of mindful eating develops awareness of and honors the internal wisdom that can guide food choices and support eating for well-being. Mindful eating cultivates connection with physical, psychological and environmental cues that can affect food decisions.
TCME does not endorse any philosophy or program that includes or promotes weight loss measures or procedures because evidence does not support that it deepens or improves an individual’s mindful eating practice.
The intention of mindful eating is to remain in the present moment by promoting acceptance, nonjudgment, and curiosity about an individual’s direct experience. It is not outcome-based and does not promote any specific body shape or size. Based on scientific research, TCME expresses caution and concern about engaging in mindful eating exercises for weight loss. A weight focus and related stigmatization may exacerbate psychological issues such as guilt and shame and may keep individuals caught in an unbalanced eating cycle.
Why Mindful Eating Needs to Promote Weight and Size Inclusivity, by Lila Graue MD, LMFT
Mindful Eating for Well-Being: What's Weight Got to Do with It? Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D. and Marsha Hudnall MS, RDN, CD (available in our recording store)
Food for Thought Winter 2019: Weight Inclusivity (available in our Food for Thought Store)
Revised following member comments, July 18, 2016
Mindful eating and sustainability have overlapping values in that both foster awareness and encouragement of humane treatment of all beings, ensuring the protection of animals, farmers, workers, consumers, and communities.
Additional resources on sustainability:
Nourishing the Planet: How Mindful Eating Can Help with Megrette Fletcher, RD
Food, Sustainability and Role of Mindfulness with Caroline Baerten, RD
is the position of The Center for Mindful Eating that food insecurity
is a global issue that professionals in fields related to health, food
and nutrition need to become aware of. An individual’s past and current
food insecurity concerns may promote unhealthy, mindless or fear-based
eating. The Center for Mindful Eating encourages members to take steps
to acknowledge and, if possible, ease food insecurity in their local
area as a way to benefit their community and deepen their mindful eating
Learning More About Food Insecurity
Food insecurity means the lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life.
The Center for Mindful Eating has identified five areas of food insecurity:
The lack of reliable and consistent sources of food.
At TCME, diversity and inclusion are guiding principles that we use as a lens to inform our conversations and develop programs that impact perspectives and cultures that are often marginalized or excluded from mainstream dialogue. Embracing equality and multiple approaches and points of view is core to our mission, and we believe in building a community where differences are valued.
Although we recognize our need for further growth and evolution, these objectives and values are translated into the way we create our organizational structure and culture. We also adopt an approach that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our growing membership. We strive to be a community that nourishes and inspires-- inclusive of age, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, body size, physical or mental ability, and ethnicity.