The objective of this project is to conduct five studies that will culminate in the creation of a novel intervention Strategy to improve nutrition behavior and reduce risk for obesity among adolescents. The intervention, developed for delivery through a managed care setting, will include (a) in-person meetings with families to motivate and strengthen commitment to behavior change, to identify cues to habitual dietary behavior, and to develop implementation intentions for alternative dietary behaviors, (b) tailored print materials sent to parents and children to help remove cues that trigger habitual dietary behavior and to help execute implementation intentions for diet change, and (c) telephone calls conducted with parents and adolescents to support cue modification and execution of implementation intentions. This intervention will be capable of reaching a large number of adolescents and their families and can readily be adopted for widespread use in a managed care setting. The project, entitled "Habitual &Neurocognitive Processes in Adolescent Obesity Prevention" will target dietary behavior (consumption of sweetened beverages, high fat/sodium snacks, high sugar snacks, &total energy intake) among 14 to 17 year-old children and their parents. This proposal responds to the aims of RFA-HL-08-013 "Translating Basic Behavioral and Social Science Discoveries into Interventions to Reduce Obesity: Centers for Behavioral Intervention Development" by drawing on three areas of basic behavioral science research including the formation and enactment of habitual behaviors, basic behavioral research on implementation intentions, and the influence of neurocognitive processes on behavior. In sum, the present proposal draws on basic research in habit formation and neurocognition to develop a new approach to the prevention of obesity in adolescents.
The specific aims proposed for this study include: 1. Identify cues to habitual dietary behavior among adolescents using real-time measurement strategies (Study 1). 2. Create an intervention activity designed to modify inhibitory function in adolescents (Study 2). 3. Test cue-based and implementation intention approaches for dietary change (Study 3). 4. Test alternative approaches to the modification of inhibitory function and dietary intake among adolescents using implementation intentions as an intervention strategy (Study 4). 5. Conduct a feasibility test of the intervention using examplars of each intervention component (cue-based intervention, implementation intentions, neurocognitive intervention) delivered through coaching sessions, telephone contact, and tailored print (Study 5).
This proposal responds to the aims of RFA-HL-08-013 by developing a new approach to the prevention of obesity among adolescents using basic behavioral science research on (a) the formation and enactment of habitual behaviors (b) the use of implementation intentions to guide alternative behaviors in the presence of cues and (c) research on the influence of neurocognitive processes on behavior. Two previously underutilized settings for obesity prevention will be targeted;families and managed care.
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