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Comprehensive Programs and Approaches to Obesity Essay


The behavioral approach to obesity

Obesity now ranges among the most pressing health problems of contemporary developed societies. There are a lot of approaches allowing the affected group to deal with the issue. Within the behavioral approach to weight loss, there are three major paths to deal with the problem. These are Operant Conditioning (OC), Classical Conditioning (CC), and Social Learning Theory (SLT). Operant Conditioning presupposes reinforcement of the right behavior (either positive or negative). Classical conditioning deals with stimulus effect (which presupposes satisfaction from having a healthy and slim body). Social Learning Theory claims that the behavior of patients suffering from obesity can be modified by their social environment.

Implementation plan

Thus, considering all these methods, a comprehensive weight loss plan featuring a reinforcement schedule and learning sequence may look as follows:

  1. Goal-setting
    1. the behavioral objectives leading to the achievement of the ultimate goal must be identified (diet plan, exercise program, ways to deal with hunger, etc.)
  2. Operant reinforcement
    1. rating of objectives and goals
    2. praising favorable behavior in eating and exercising
    3. introducing a system of bonuses for each completed task (according to its complexity and results attained)
    4. strictly adhering to the system of punishments for each violation of the rules (negative reinforcement), which should manifest itself in additional exercising, not in food deprivation
  3. Stimulus control
    1. starting learning from controlling conditioned stimulus: eating at a fixed time using the same tableware; keep products out of sight in-between the meals; serve the required amount of food without helpings; distracting from other activities during meals
    2. controlling unconditioned stimuli through favorable behavior (the amount of gastric juice produced by the stomach and provoking hunger at the sight of food can be reduced gradually due to the right eating habits)
  4. Response Prevention
    1. learning to wait 5-15 minutes even if the urge to eat is hardly bearable
    2. using vicarious reinforcement (replacing the activity with another one)
    3. substituting high-calorie products with light ones (eating vegetables or fruit instead of sweets)
  5. Changing of eating behavior
    1. learning to eat slowly, biting small pieces and chewing slowly; making pauses between bites
    2. using the other hand to eat to slow down the process
  6. Monitoring
    1. recording eating habits (place, time, the quantity of food eaten, etc.)
    2. monitoring weight changes
    3. keeping track of the implementation of the program
  7. Acquiring useful social skills
    1. trying to refuse all the offers of food when it is not time to eat
    2. introducing healthy habits in the family to support each other to increase self-efficacy
    3. learning not to eat out of politeness
  8. Cognitive transformation
    1. learning to encourage yourself, especially in cases when you feel down and depressed and is about to quit the weight loss program because its effect seems questionable
    2. learning to recognize and prevent situations in which you want to eat out of stress, boredom, excitements, and for other reasons not connected with real hunger
    3. increasing self-esteem through constant improvement of your style, image, perception of the body, etc.; learning to love yourself and your achievements
    4. forgetting how to compare yourself with others to avoid negative associations
  9. Training to prevent future relapses
    1. learning to predict risks associated with internal or external reason and learning to prevent or handle them
    2. not quitting the weight loss program even if the weight starts fluctuating and some gains happen
    3. learning to deal with stress with the help of exercising instead of eating more.
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IvyPanda. (2020, October 8). Comprehensive Programs and Approaches to Obesity. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/comprehensive-programs-and-approaches-to-obesity/

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"Comprehensive Programs and Approaches to Obesity." IvyPanda, 8 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/comprehensive-programs-and-approaches-to-obesity/.

1. IvyPanda. "Comprehensive Programs and Approaches to Obesity." October 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comprehensive-programs-and-approaches-to-obesity/.


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IvyPanda. "Comprehensive Programs and Approaches to Obesity." October 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comprehensive-programs-and-approaches-to-obesity/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Comprehensive Programs and Approaches to Obesity." October 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comprehensive-programs-and-approaches-to-obesity/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Comprehensive Programs and Approaches to Obesity'. 8 October.

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