Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Human Factors Psychology


Muth, Eric R

Committee Member

Alley , Thomas R

Committee Member

Hoover , Adam W

Committee Member

Rosopa , Patrick J


The obesity epidemic affects millions of individuals worldwide. New tools that simplify efforts to self-monitor energy intake may enable successful weight loss and weight maintenance. The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of the number of bites recorded by the bite counter device during daily meals in natural, real world settings. Participants (N = 83) used bite counters to record daily meals for two weeks. Participants also recorded their daily dietary intake using automated, computer-based 24-hour recalls. Predictors of bite count were explored at the meal-level and individual-level using multilevel linear modeling. A positive relationship between kilocalories and bites was moderated by energy density such that participants took more bites to consume greater kilocalorie meals when energy density was low than when energy density was high. The positive relationship between kilocalories and bites was also moderated by participants' average bite size during a laboratory meal such that participants with smaller bite sizes took more bites to consume greater kilocalorie meals than participants with larger bites sizes. Participants also took more bites when they ate meals with others and when they ate meals outside of the home, although this meal location effect was not reliably produced across models. Practical implications of these results for future bite counter development and research are discussed.

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