In a series of studies we have shown that children and adults habituate, or show a gradual reduction in responding, to repeated presentations of olfactory, gustatory, or the combination of olfactory and gustatory food cues. The rate of habituation is inversely related to energy intake in a meal, and obese children and adults habituate slower than leaner peers and consume more food. Habituation is a basic form of learning that is observed in many response systems. We believe that habituation is an important process that mediates food regulation during a meal and across meals. However, there has been no research in children that translates basic research on habituation to food into clinical interventions. This center grant is a systematic attempt to translate basic research from our laboratory on habituation to food into effective clinical interventions for overweight children. In the first phase (Years 01-02) we will implement a series of laboratory studies to assess the effects of stimulus specificity and variety, and the simultaneous reduction of variety for high energy density foods while increasing the variety of low energy density foods on short (within meal) and long-term (across meal) habituation. The second phase (Years 02-03) is designed to implement a series of field studies that will extend basic research from the first phase as well as define the optimal interval for reducing variety to facilitate long-term habituation to high energy density foods in the natural environment. The third phase (Years 04-05) is designed to develop and pilot test a family-based behavioral intervention for children that incorporates findings from Phase 2 into a clinical intervention.
Habituation is a theoretically rich behavioral science area that is important to satiation and energy intake regulation. The proposed research will translate research on habituation to clinical interventions for overweight youth in a hierarchical structure, progressing from laboratory studies to controlled field studies to the development of clinical interventions. The translation of this basic science may have important implications for the treatment of pediatric obesity.
|Thrailkill, Eric A; Epstein, Leonard H; Bouton, Mark E (2015) Effects of inter-food interval on the variety effect in an instrumental food-seeking task. Clarifying the role of habituation. Appetite 84:43-53|
|Lin, Henry; Epstein, Leonard H (2014) Living in the moment: effects of time perspective and emotional valence of episodic thinking on delay discounting. Behav Neurosci 128:12-9|
|Bouton, Mark E; Todd, Travis P; Miles, Olivia W et al. (2013) Within- and between-session variety effects in a food-seeking habituation paradigm. Appetite 66:10-9|
|Daniel, Tinuke Oluyomi; Stanton, Christina M; Epstein, Leonard H (2013) The future is now: reducing impulsivity and energy intake using episodic future thinking. Psychol Sci 24:2339-42|
|Epstein, Leonard H; Fletcher, Kelly D; O'Neill, Jessica et al. (2013) Food characteristics, long-term habituation and energy intake. Laboratory and field studies. Appetite 60:40-50|
|Boyington, Josephine E A; Czajkowski, Susan (2013) Enrollment and retention challenges in early-phase intervention development studies: the obesity-related behavioral intervention trials (ORBIT). Prev Chronic Dis 10:|
|Carr, Katelyn A; Epstein, Leonard H (2011) Relationship between food habituation and reinforcing efficacy of food. Learn Motiv 42:165-172|
|Epstein, Leonard H; Robinson, Jodie L; Roemmich, James N et al. (2011) Slow rates of habituation predict greater zBMI gains over 12 months in lean children. Eat Behav 12:214-8|
|Epstein, Leonard H; Carr, Katelyn A; Cavanaugh, Meghan D et al. (2011) Long-term habituation to food in obese and nonobese women. Am J Clin Nutr 94:371-6|