Improving accuracy of portion-size estimations through a stimulus equivalence paradigm

Nicole L. Hausman, John C. Borrero, Alyssa Fisher, SungWoo Kahng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The prevalence of obesity continues to increase in the United States (Gordon-Larsen, The, & Adair, 2010). Obesity can be attributed, in part, to overconsumption of energy-dense foods. Given that overeating plays a role in the development of obesity, interventions that teach individuals to identify and consume appropriate portion sizes are warranted. Specifically, interventions that teach individuals to estimate portion sizes correctly without the use of aids may be critical to the success of nutrition education programs. The current study evaluated the use of a stimulus equivalence paradigm to teach 9 undergraduate students to estimate portion size accurately. Results suggested that the stimulus equivalence paradigm was effective in teaching participants to make accurate portion size estimations without aids, and improved accuracy was observed in maintenance sessions that were conducted 1 week after training. Furthermore, 5 of 7 participants estimated the target portion size of novel foods during extension sessions. These data extend existing research on teaching accurate portion-size estimations and may be applicable to populations who seek treatment (e.g., overweight or obese children and adults) to teach healthier eating habits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-499
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • health psychology
  • obesity
  • portion-size estimation
  • stimulus equivalence
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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