A new public health study finds that “dispositional mindfulness,” or an awareness of and attention to current thoughts and feelings, is associated with less abdominal fat and obesity. Researchers from Brown University came to their conclusion after studying nearly 400 people.

Investigators point out that dispositional mindfulness is not the same as mindfulness meditation, in which people make a conscious, focused practice of attending to their current state and sensations. Instead, it’s more of an inherent personality trait, though it can also be taught.“This is everyday mindfulness,” said lead author Dr. Eric Loucks, assistant professor of epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health. “The vast majority of these people are not meditating.”

Loucks’ study examined how 394 people in the New England Family Study (NEFS) scored on the six-point Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Participants rated their agreement with….

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