Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Paper Session #68
Consumption and Self-Monitoring in College Students
Saturday, May 24, 2008
3:30 PM–4:20 PM
Area: CSE
Chair: Holly Denice Shockley (Washington State University)
Overeating and Food Processing: A Behavioral Analysis of What Makes Food “Fattening”.
Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT M. STEIN (Lancaster, PA), Mary Auker (Lebanon Valley College)
Abstract: By 2010, according to the US Dept of Health, 50% of children in the United States will be overweight. Diets involving either portion control or food restriction reduce weight in the short term, but individuals cannot generally maintain such control over the long term. This paper argues that food processing has created a large class of foods that elicit overeating. A large number of calories are consumed prior to satiation. Attempts to exercise portion control over this class of foods are frequently unsuccessful. One objective measurement of the relation between consumption and food processing is the amount of calories consumed per minute for foods at different levels of processing. A food may be operationally defined as “fattening” if it elicits a high rate of caloric intake. Pilot data with undergraduate volunteers will be presented showing calorie consumption per minute for a representative variety of non/minimally processed and highly processed foods. A gradual transition to a diet that elicits a low rate of calorie consumption per minute can be seen as a possible long-term solution to the “yo-yo” dieting that is triggered by the consumption of low calorie diets high in processed foods.



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