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Study Finds That Children Can Learn How To Curb Overeating When Not Hungry

December 7, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers report the successful testing of two methods of curbing overeating and binge eating in the absence of hunger among obese children and their parents. Thirty-six obese 8-to-12-year olds with high levels of overeating and their parents were assigned to eight-week-long training, either in appetite awareness or cue exposure. Appetite awareness training teaches children to recognize and respond appropriately to hunger and satiety cues. Cue exposure training uses a “toolbox” of coping skills to teach children parents to resist food in front of them. Many of the children were able to reduce overeating and binge eating using the new skills and may have found a way to prevent weight gain by gaining “a sense of control over what they chose to eat.”
Boutelle, Kerri N. et al., "Two novel treatments to reduce overeating in overweight children", Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, December 07, 2011, © American Psychological Association
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