A1 Journal article (refereed)
Brief Remote Intervention to Manage Food Cravings and Emotions during the COVID-19 Pandemic : A Pilot Study (2022)

Devonport, T., Chen-Wilson, C.-H. (., Nicholls, W., Robazza, C., Cagas, J. Y., Fernández-Montalvo, J., Choi, Y., & Ruiz, M. C. (2022). Brief Remote Intervention to Manage Food Cravings and Emotions during the COVID-19 Pandemic : A Pilot Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 393-408. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.903096

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Devonport, Tracey; Chen-Wilson, Chao-Hwa (Josephine); Nicholls, Wendy; Robazza, Claudio; Cagas, Jonathan Y.; Fernández-Montalvo, Javier; Choi, Youngjun; Ruiz, Montse C.

Journal or series: Frontiers in Psychology

eISSN: 1664-1078

Publication year: 2022

Volume: 13

Pages range: 393-408

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.903096

Persistent website address: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.903096/full

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82178


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic people have endured potentially stressful challenges which have influenced behaviours such as eating. This pilot study examined the effectiveness of two brief interventions aimed to help individuals deal with food cravings and associated emotional experiences. Participants were 165 individuals residing in United Kingdom, Finland, Philippines, Spain, Italy, Brazil, North America, South Korea, and China. The study was implemented remotely, thus without any contact with researchers, and involved two groups. Group one participants were requested to use daily diaries for seven consecutive days to assess the frequency of experience of their food cravings, frequency of giving in to cravings, and difficulty resisting cravings, as well as emotional states associated with their cravings. In addition to completing daily food diaries, participants in group two were asked to engage in mindful eating practice and forming implementation intentions. Participants assessed their perceived changes in eating, wellbeing, and health at the beginning and end of the intervention. Repeated measures MANOVAs indicated that participants experienced significantly less food cravings (i.e., craving experience, acting on cravings, difficulty resisting), as well as lower intensities of unpleasant states associated with cravings across time (T1 vs. T7). In contrast to our hypothesis, the main effects of the group (food craving diary vs. food craving diary and mindful eating practice) were not significant. Participants reported less eating and enhanced wellbeing at the end of the study (T7 vs. T1). Our findings can be used to inform future remote interventions to manage food cravings and associated emotions and highlight the need for alternative solutions to increase participant engagement.

Keywords: pandemics; social isolation; eating arrangement; appetite; eating; food habits; nutritional behaviour; emotions; consciousness (mental properties); becoming aware; well-being; health

Free keywords: lockdown; confinement; mindful eating; diary; emotion

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:58