Healthy Behaviors Learning Task

2016-09-22 21:08:21 | BioPortfolio


This research is being done to study the impacts of a computerized learning task on health behaviors.


Over 1/3 of U.S. adults over the age of 20 are obese and obesity is associated with a host of deleterious medical comorbidities, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, costing the U.S. approximately $147 billion annually. Novel approaches to address this public health crisis are needed. Although obesity is multiply determined, it is ultimately a disorder of positive energy balance, such that weight loss requires increases in physical activity and improvements in choosing healthy over unhealthy foods. People who are strongly motivated to eat are more obese, and derive less benefit from weight loss treatments. There are two general approaches to addressing this pattern: 1) increase the reinforcing value of healthy foods and/or 2) increase an individual's self-control, i.e., the ability to inhibit approach responses to less healthy foods.

Emerging research has begun to develop and test training programs that directly modify tendencies to approach one type of stimulus while resisting temptation of another type of stimulus for problems other than obesity. For example, researchers have been able to train heavy drinkers to decrease their weekly alcohol intake7 and chocolate-lovers to reduce their chocolate intake. However, these researchers did not also incorporate increasing interest in alternatives (e.g., drinking water instead of beer). This training mechanism has also yet to be applied to research on obesity and decreasing intake of unhealthy foods.

Participants will be first trained via a computerized training task to inhibit responses to high-calorie (unhealthy) foods, and to approach alternative low-calorie, high-nutrient (healthy) foods, in order to test the tasks efficacy.

Study Design

Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Healthy Population


Go/no-go task


Johns Hopkins University Bayview Campus, Behavioral Medicine Research Lab
United States




Johns Hopkins University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-09-22T21:08:21-0400

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