Stress obesity in children

Sato, A. F., & Fahrenkamp, A. J. (2016). From Bench to Bedside: Understanding Stress-Obesity Research Within the Context of Translation to Improve Pediatric Behavioral Weight Management. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 63(3), 401-423. Abstract.

KEY POINTS

  • Stress, including chronic stress and acute stress reactivity, is associated with pediatric obesity risk.
  • Stress has been associated with weight-related outcomes in basic research, yet translational research is needed to inform the development of pediatric behavioral weight control (BWC) trials.
  • Mechanisms through which mindfulness interventions may benefit weight management include reduction of stress, enhancing self-regulatory behaviors, and acceptance of discomfort.
  • There is a need for future pediatric BWC research examining mindfulness-based approaches, because these may be useful for decreasing the negative impacts of stress on weight management (eg, eating in response to stress).

MBIs tailored to individuals with cancer

Rouleau, C. R. , Garland, S. N., & Carlson, L. E. (2015). The impact of mindfulness-based interventions on symptom burden, positive psychological outcomes, and biomarkers in cancer patients. Cancer Management and Research, 7, 121-131. Full Text.

Abstract: Research on the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction and related mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in cancer care has proliferated over the past decade. MBIs have aimed to facilitate physical and emotional adjustment to life with cancer through the cultivation and practice of mindfulness (ie, purposeful, nonjudgmental, moment-to-moment awareness).

This descriptive review highlights three categories of outcomes that have been evaluated in MBI research with cancer patients – namely, symptom reduction, positive psychological growth, and biological outcomes. We also examine the clinical relevance of each targeted outcome, while describing recently published original studies to highlight novel applications of MBIs tailored to individuals with cancer.

Accumulating evidence suggests that participation in a MBI contributes to reductions in psychological distress, sleep disturbance, and fatigue, and promotes personal growth in areas such as quality of life and spirituality. MBIs may also influence markers of immune function, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis regulation, and autonomic nervous system activity, though it remains unclear whether these biological changes translate to clinically important health benefits.

We conclude by discussing methodological limitations of the extant literature, and implications of matching MBIs to the needs and preferences of cancer patients. Overall, the growing popularity of MBIs in cancer care must be balanced against scientific evidence for their impact on specific clinical outcomes.