The effect of reinforcement or stimulus control to reduce sedentary behavior in the treatment of pediatric obesity

Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.95). 08/2004; 23(4):371-80. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.23.4.371
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Obese children were randomly assigned to a family-based behavioral treatment that included either stimulus control or reinforcement to reduce sedentary behaviors. Significant and equivalent decreases in sedentary behavior and high energy density foods, increases in physical activity and fruits and vegetables, and decreases in standardized body mass index (z-BMI) were observed. Children who substituted active for sedentary behaviors had significantly greater z-BMI changes at 6 (-1.21 vs. -0.76) and 12 (-1.05 vs. -0.51) months, respectively. Substitution of physically active for sedentary behaviors and changes in activity level predicted 6- and 12-month z-BMI changes. Results suggest stimulus control and reinforcing reduced sedentary behaviors are equivalent ways to decrease sedentary behaviors, and behavioral economic relationships in eating and activity may mediate the effects of treatment.

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    • "Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) is an established treatment for substance abuse in controlled trials (Azrin et al. 1996, 1994a, 2001, 1994b) that has demonstrated some success in treating problems associated with child neglect (Donohue et al. 2010; Romero et al. 2010a, b). Although FBT includes some of the intervention components that have been successful in the prevention of obesity (i.e., behavioral goal setting, contingency management, stimulus control, self-control; Eakin et al. 2007; Epstein et al. 2004; Munsch et al. 2008), this treatment has yet to explicitly target healthy living behaviors. Therefore, the purpose of this case study was to develop and demonstrate the initial feasibility of a healthy living curriculum within a FBT capable of remediating child neglect and drug abuse. "
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