The objective of this research project is to develop a novel intervention strategy to improve nutrition behavior and reduce risk for obesity among adolescents using basic behavioral science research on:
The formation and enactment of habitual behaviors.
The use of implementation intentions to guide alternative behaviors in the presence of cues.
The influence of neurocognitive processes on behavior.
The intervention itself will be developed through the implementation of five interconnected studies. The first study will identify cues to habitual dietary behavior among adolescents. The second study will create an intervention activity designed to modify inhibitory function. The third study will test cue-based and implementation intention approaches for dietary change. The fourth study will test alternative approaches to the modification of inhibitory function and dietary intake among adolescents. The fifth study will fuse together elements of all the prior studies into a complete intervention with children 14-17 years of age and their families.
Study participants will be identified, screened, and recruited from the patient population of Molina Healthcare clinics in the greater Los Angeles area. Molina Healthcare is a national health maintenance organization that provides health care to 41,000 low-income patients in Southern California.
The data collection methods used across the five studies include self-administered questionnaires, focus group interviews, body measurements, medical record analysis, Ecological Momentary Assessment data, computerized cognitive assessments, observational assessments, and functional MRI.