MINDFUL EATING: WILLINGNESS TO SAMPLE AND ENJOYMENT OF SAMPLED FOOD IN OLDER ADULTS
The present study examined the role of mindful eating and willingness to sample food and enjoyment of the sampled food among older adults. Participants were older adults (age > 55) with no known food allergies. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: a mindful raisin-eating task (n = 26), a nonmindful raisin-eating (control) task (n = 25), and a no-task baseline condition (n = 25). Following the experimental manipulation, all participants rated their expected liking of different foods, were offered anchovies to sample, and rated their actual enjoyment of the sampled anchovies. Results indicated no statistically significant differences between the mindful raisin-eating and nonmindful raisin-eating control group on expected liking of different foods, F(1, 49) = 0.17, p = .68, willingness to sample anchovies, ?2 (2) = 0.34, p = .84, or the enjoyment of sampled anchovies, F(2, 37) = 0.93, p = .41. The failure to replicate previous findings may be due to a lack of statistical power to detect meaningful differences, particularly in the expected liking of previously disliked foods, due to the small sample size (N = 76). It may also be that the attitudes and behaviors of older adults are more ingrained or reflexive due to a longer lifetime of rehearsal compared with young adults, and thus a one-time mindfulness experience may be less impactful in altering attitudes and behaviors in older adults compared to young adults.