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Citation Information : Eat, Sleep, Work. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 65-71, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21913/JDRSSesw.v1i1.1221
License : (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
Currently, obesity is a leading threat to optimal health and wellbeing in Australia. Offsetting risks of acute and chronic disease and disability, a balanced diet offers a sound investment against premature morbidity and mortality commonly associated with obesity. Demonstrated empirically to lead to weight gain, consumption of snack foods lacking in nutritional value (“indulgences”) threatens a healthy lifestyle and is as prevalent as 90% in some populations. Thus, ﬁnding strategies to counteract habitual snacking on “indulgences” is imperative. External stimuli (objects, events or people) can inﬂuence food consumption. Changing exposure to external cues may be used to reduce snacking. This case study (n=1) investigated effects of a behavioural modiﬁcation intervention using classical and operant conditioning techniques to reduce snack food ingestion over one week. Speciﬁcally, modiﬁcations to situational cues including meal versus snack schema activation and a ﬁxed-interval sweet reward provided a holistic ‘internal-external’ environmental strategic approach. One hypothesis was proposed; the intervention would be associated with a reduction in snack food consumption during the seven-day intervention period. Results indicated the number of snacks consumed was signiﬁcantly reduced during the intervention. While methodological limitations precluded causal claims and strength and direction of relationships, evidence supported a behavioural modiﬁcation approach to reduce snacking. Moreover, results demonstrate the complexity of human eating behaviours, Rather than attributing overeating to individual “choice,” ﬁndings highlight a number of situational factors that may be altered to reduce snacking on indulgent foods.
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