Teaching young children to make accurate portion size estimations using 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 among children and adolescents has increased over the past four decades. Obesity can be conceptualized as a problem related to energy balance, where more energy is consumed than is expended through physical activity. One way that children may have a positive energy balance is through the overconsumption of foods (i.e., eating large portion sizes). Therefore, interventions that teach children to make accurate portion size estimations may be important to maintain overall health. In the current study, seven children between the ages of 4 and 7 years were taught to make accurate portion size estimations using a stimulus equivalence paradigm. Results suggested that the stimulus equivalence paradigm was effective in teaching five of seven participants to make more accurate portion size estimations during posttraining. Furthermore, five of seven participants estimated the target portion size of a novel food during extension sessions. These findings extend the current literature related to teaching children to make accurate portion size estimations. Although this was a translational study, results might help to inform existing nutrition education programs aimed at teaching children healthier eating habits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBehavioral Interventions
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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