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A Randomized Clinical Trial Of A Meridian-Based Intervention For Food Cravings With Six Month Follow-Up

Food Cravings Reduced with EFT; A RCT Study Demonstrates the Effectiveness of EFT for 96 Obese Adults in Measuring Reduced Food Cravings and Increased Food Restraint

Citation: Stapleton, P., Sheldon, T., Porter, B., Whitty, J. (2011). A randomized clinical trial of a meridian-based intervention for food cravings with six month follow-up. Behavior Change,28(1), p 1-16.Click here for Abstract http://goo.gl/6jjU5E and to read Full Paper http://goo.gl/Ge5OBo

Abstract

This randomized, clinical trial tested whether The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) reduced food cravings. This study involved 96 overweight or obese adults who were allocated to the EFT treatment or 4-week waitlist condition. Degree of food craving, perceived power of food, restraint capabilities and psychological symptoms were assessed pre- and post- a 4-week treatment program (mixed method ANOVA comparative analysis), and at 6-month follow-up (repeated measure ANOVA with group data collapsed). EFT was associated with a significantly greater improvement in food cravings, the subjective power of food and craving restraint than waitlist from pre- to immediately post-test (p < .05). Across collapsed groups, an improvement in food cravings and the subjective power of food after active EFT treatment was maintained at 6 months, and a delayed effect was seen for craving restraint. Although there was a significant reduction in measures of psychological distress immediately after treatment (p < .05), there was no between-group difference. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that EFT can have an immediate effect on reducing food cravings and can result in maintaining reduced cravings over time.

Craig’s Comments

This study observed 96 overweight/obese adults who were assigned to either an EFT intervention or wait list group and received a two hour EFT session each week for 4 weeks with accompanying assigned EFT self-directed homework. This was a randomized, single-blind, crossover trial investigated whether EFT maintained reduced food cravings after 6 months. Researcher Peta Stapleton and colleagues assessed the participants before and after the four weeks of tapping sessions as well as 6 months later. The results demonstrated that “EFT was associated with a significantly greater improvement in food cravings, the subjective power of food and craving restraint than those who were waitlisted and during the same period did not receive EFT when measured from immediately before to immediately afterwards. The improvement in food cravings and the subjective power of food was maintained at 6 months as well as well as a delayed effect for craving restraint. At the 6 month follow up there was not a statistically significant level of weight loss nor reduction in BMI (Editor’s Note: Do read the 12 month follow up study during which time these results were achieved). The authors offer that “these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that EFT can have an immediate effect on reducing food cravings and can result in maintaining reduced cravings over time.”