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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #71
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Research on Obesity: Examination of Behavioral Weight Management Programs and Environmental Factors That Affect Obesity
Saturday, May 29, 2010
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
Crockett A/B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: SungWoo Kahng (The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: Gregory Madden, Ph.D.
Abstract: Obesity has become a significant health problem that is in part due to an environment that promotes increased food intake, unhealthy foods, and sedentary activities. Obesity is associated with increased risk of adverse health consequences such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it is estimated that medical expenses related to obesity reach as high as $78.5 billion per year. Studies show that nearly a third of adults and approximately 17% of children and adolescents are obese. Furthermore, data indicate that the prevalence of obesity is increasing. Obesity is a problem that transcends age, gender, geography, and race. Given the significant problems associated with obesity as well as its high prevalence, this appears to be an area of research in which behavior analysts can have a significant impact. This symposium brings together several studies focused on addressing specific variables that may affect obesity (physical activity and portion control) as well as examine behavioral weight management programs for children as well as individuals with developmental disabilities.
Parent Supported Behavioral Treatment of Obesity in Adolescents and Young Adults With Down Syndrome: Randomized, Controlled Trial
RICHARD K. FLEMING (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Elise A. Stokes (University of Massachusetts Medical Center), Renee Scampini (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Linda Bandini (University of Massachusetts Medical School), James Gleason (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Carol Curtin (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Charles Hamad (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: We conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing two conditions of a family based weight loss intervention with overweight and obese adolescents/young adults with Down syndrome (DS). In the control condition, Nutrition/Activity Education (NAE), adolescents and parents participated in a hands-on educational program on healthy eating and physical activity for gradual weight reduction. In the experimental condition, Parent Supported Weight Reduction (PSWR), participants received NAE supplemented with parent training in six behavioral procedures designed to support weight loss efforts at home. The procedures included monitoring, stimulus control arrangements, goal-setting, reinforcement, feedback and behavioral contracting. Both conditions ran in parallel for 16 sessions (1.5 hrs each) spread over a 6-month period, moving from an intensive (weekly for 10 wks) to a tapered (bi-weekly to tri-weekly) schedule. Measurement, completed at baseline (BL), 10 weeks, 6 months and 12 months (follow-up), includes weight and height, body mass index (BMI), percent body fat, self-reported eating (3-Day Food Records) and physical activity (Accelerometry). Three replications (waves) were conducted, one in a separate location with a different treatment team. Between group and within subjects analyses are presented.
Family-Based Weight Management Programs: Current Research and Future Directions
ALYSSA FISHER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kaitlin Coryat (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Approximately 30% of children in the U.S. are currently overweight (Ogden, Carroll,& Flegal, 2008). Previous research has suggested that the use of family-based, behavioral weight management programs may be an effective intervention for children who are overweight or obese (Epstein, Wing, Koeske, Andrasik, & Ossip, 1981). These family-based interventions are also effective in promoting long-term maintenance of weight loss (Epstein, Valoski, Wing, & McCurley, 1994). The Healthy Kids program is a weight management program for children and their families based, in part, on the Traffic Light diet (Epstein, Masek, & Marshall, 1978). Preliminary results from the Healthy Kids program suggest that approximately 50% of children participating in the program successfully lose weight. Additionally, adherence to program components, including attendance and quiz completion, has been found to be related to successful weight loss. Future research includes identifying behavioral strategies critical to weight loss maintenance.
Evaluating the Effects of Exergaming on Physical Activity Among Inactive Children in a Physical Education Classroom
VICTORIA FOGEL (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Rachel K. Graves (University of South Florida), Shannon S. Koehler (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Childhood obesity, which is due in part to lack of physical activity and exercise, is a serious concern that requires the attention of the behavioral community. Although excessive video game play has been noted in the literature as a contributor to childhood obesity, newer video gaming technology, called exergaming, has been designed to capitalize on the reinforcing effects of video games to increase physical activity in children. This study evaluated the effects of exergaming on physical activity among four inactive children in a physical education classroom. Results showed that the exergaming condition produced substantially more minutes of physical activity and more minutes of opportunity to engage in physical activity than the PE condition. In addition, the exergaming condition was socially acceptable to both the students and the PE teacher. Exergaming appears to hold promise as a method for increasing physical activity among inactive children and might be a possible intervention for childhood obesity.
A Comparison of Portion-Size Discrimination Training Procedures
NICOLE LYNN HAUSMAN (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alyssa Fisher (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Increased sedentary behavior and consumption of unhealthy foods may contribute to the increasing prevalence of obesity. Consumers often have difficulty estimating portion sizes (Ervin & Smiciklas-Wright, 2001) and increased food consumption may be associated with increased portion size (Fisher, Liu, Birch, & Rolls, 2007). Much of the previous research on teaching individuals to correctly estimate portion sizes has focused on the use of measuring aids such as measuring cups or visual representations of portion sizes (e.g., a deck of cards) to estimate portion sizes (Byrd-Bredbenner, & Schwartz, 2004). However, little research has evaluated the maintenance or generalization of these skills. The purpose of the current study is to compare the efficacy of two strategies (i.e., using a measuring cup or a visual representation) to teach college students to correctly estimate portion sizes. Additionally, the extent to which these skills are maintained and generalized to novel foods is being evaluated across training methods. Initial results suggest that both methods may be effective at teaching participants to estimate portion sizes, and the skills acquired during training are generally maintained at 1week post-training and generalize to novel foods.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh