Design and methods for "Commit to Get Fit" - A pilot study of a school-based mindfulness intervention to promote healthy diet and physical activity among adolescents

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

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Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


INTRODUCTION: Cardiovascular prevention is more effective if started early in life, but available interventions to promote healthy lifestyle habits among youth have been ineffective. Impulsivity in particular has proven to be an important barrier to the adoption of healthy behaviors in youth. Observational evidence suggests that mindfulness interventions may reduce impulsivity and improve diet and physical activity. We hypothesize that mindfulness training in adjunct to traditional health education will improve dietary habits and physical activity among teenagers by reducing impulsive behavior and improving planning skills.

METHODS/DESIGN: The Commit to Get Fit study is a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial examining the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of school-based mindfulness training in adjunct to traditional health education for promotion of a healthy diet and physical activity among adolescents. Two schools in central Massachusetts (30 students per school) will be randomized to receive mindfulness training plus standard health education (HE-M) or an attention-control intervention plus standard health education (HE-AC). Assessments will be conducted at baseline, intervention completion (2months), and 8months. Primary outcomes are feasibility and acceptability. Secondary outcomes include physical activity, diet, impulsivity, mood, body mass index, and quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS: This study will provide important information about feasibility and preliminary estimates of efficacy of a school-delivered mindfulness and health education intervention to promote healthy dietary and physical activity behaviors among adolescents. Our findings will provide important insights about the possible mechanisms by which mindfulness training may contribute to behavioral change and inform future research in this important area.

DOI of Published Version



Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Mar;41:248-58. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2015.02.004. Epub 2015 Feb 14. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Contemporary clinical trials

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID