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A pilot study on the effects of slow paced breathing on current food craving
AuthorMeule, Adrian ; Kübler, Andrea
Published in
Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, New York : Springer US, 2017, Vol. 2017, Issue [online first], page 1-10
Document typeJournal Article
Keywords (EN)Food cues / Food craving / Eating behavior / Slow paced breathing / Heart rate variability / Biofeedback
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-4037 Persistent Identifier (URN)
 The work is publicly available
A pilot study on the effects of slow paced breathing on current food craving [1.04 mb]
Abstract (English)

Heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) involves slow paced breathing (approximately six breaths per minute), thereby maximizing low-frequent heart rate oscillations and baroreflex gain. Mounting evidence suggests that HRV-BF promotes symptom reductions in a variety of physical and mental disorders. It may also positively affect eating behavior by reducing food cravings. The aim of the current study was to investigate if slow paced breathing can be useful for attenuating momentary food craving. Female students performed paced breathing either at six breaths per minute (n = 32) or at nine breaths per minute (n = 33) while watching their favorite food on the computer screen. Current food craving decreased during a first resting period, increased during paced breathing, and decreased during a second resting period in both conditions. Although current hunger increased in both conditions during paced breathing as well, it remained elevated after the second resting period in the nine breaths condition only. Thus, breathing rate did not influence specific food craving, but slow paced breathing appeared to have a delayed influence on state hunger. Future avenues are suggested for the study of HRV-BF in the context of eating behavior.

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