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Teaching behavior modification to nutrition students

Authors
Journal
Journal of Nutrition Education
0022-3182
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
11
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-3182(79)80062-x
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology

Abstract

Summary “Food Habits: Determinants and Techniques for Modification” was a course offered to graduate students in public health nutrition. Taught by a neuropsychologist and a public health nutritionist, this course presented the basic principles of behavior modification (operant conditioning) and their application in changing behavior. The current use of behavior modification techniques applied to obesity were studied in detail. The possible application of these same techniques to other deviant eating patterns were discussed. Throughout, both ethical aspects of behavior change and the clients' rights to be integrally involved in decisions about their diets were stressed. Each student designed and executed a project using behavior modification techniques during the semester. The positive outcome of the projects demonstrated the students' ability to apply behavior modification techniques successfully. Student evaluation indicated that the course had high relevance and applicability for nutritionists. Behavior modification is a technique which might be incorporated successfully in application-oriented nutrition courses as one possible way of facilitating clients' successful control of problem eating behavior.

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