The Osher Center Research team has been awarded an R61 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for their “Optimizing lifestyle interventions with mindfulness-based strategies in type 2 diabetes” project. This type of grant is a new, innovative award from National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the NIH that uses a five year, two-step process to study the mechanisms by which mind body interventions work; the Osher Center is one of a few centers nationally to receive the first grants of this type. The R61 grant is an initial two year phase, which is meant to prepare for a larger funding in a three year second phase if pre-specifed goals are met.
The dual Principal Investigators on the project are Osher Center Director of Research Rick Hecht, MD and Elissa Epel, PhD, Director of the UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment. Co-Investigators include Ashley Mason, PhD and Patty Moran, PhD of the Osher Center, along with Laura Saslow, PhD, former Osher Center research fellow, and UCSF faculty members Sarah Kim, MD and Cindy Leung, ScD, MPH.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is central to managing type 2 diabetes, but long-term adherence to dietary recommendations is difficult. This study will optimize and test a mindfulness-based intervention for management of type 2 diabetes, with the aim of improving tools to support people with this condition in following a healthy lifestyle. The hypothesis is that improved ability to manage food cravings and emotional eating is a key mechanism through which mindfulness-enhancements can improve dietary adherence.