Phil Jasper thesis proposal 9/23

Time: Monday, September 23rd at 11:00am in 419 Brackett

Title: Using the Bite Counter to Overcome Environmental Cues that Lead to over Eating

Abstract: According to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, overweight and obesity have reached epidemic levels in the United States. There are many treatments for overweight and obesity, the most popular being behavioral interventions. Self-monitoring is one of the most important factors of successful behavioral interventions. The Bite Counter is a new tool for weight loss that aids in the self-monitoring process. The purpose of the current study is to determine if bite count feedback and a given instruction can overcome a known environmental cue of serving container size. That is, if an individual is instructed on the maximum number of bites to take, and given feedback on the numbers of bites taken, will they use this information to overcome their tendency to eat more food when the food is dispensed from a larger container? Data will be collected from 80 participants eating a meal of macaroni and cheese in a laboratory setting. In a 2 X 2 design, the participants will be assigned to one of four conditions: instruction given and small serving container, instruction given and large serving container, instruction not given and small serving container, or instruction not given and large serving container. Grams consumed will be measured post meal as the main dependent variable. It is hypothesized that: participants in the instruction condition will consume equal grams of macaroni and cheese, participants in the instruction not given condition will consume more grams of macaroni and cheese if serving from the larger container, and there will be an interaction between the instruction variable and serving container size variable. Specifically, serving container size will not affect intake amount in the instruction given condition, however those with the larger serving containers will consume more food in the instruction not given condition.

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