Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Community and Family Health

Major Professor

Timothy Weil


One of the most difficult set of behaviors for individuals to engage in is weight management. The United States boasts an astonishing 35% obesity rate in adults while children show almost a 20% obesity rate. These statistics identify the importance of developing effective methods to help change an individual's eating habits. There are many eating habits that may contribute to an individual gaining or losing weight over a period of time. Simplified habit reversal (SHR) has an impressive history in shaping desirable responses to compete with many different types of habitual behaviors. The present study extended the SHR procedure to eating habits in an attempt to affect change in types of foods and timing of eating for the purpose of weight reduction. Additionally, contingency contracting was added to increase the potential for adherence to eating habit goals. The three targeted behaviors were late night eating (LNE), consuming high sugar content beverages (HSCB), and unhealthy snacking (UHS). It was found that utilizing a treatment package utilizing a contingency contract plus SHR with typically developing adults could aide in reducing specific and well defined eating habits. A reduction in weight by all participants was also observed.