Behavior: The Eater's Digest

With their sharply delineated goal of changing how people act—and never mind why—the behaviorists have chalked up a number of successes with juvenile delinquency, sexual problems, chain-smoking and a variety of phobias. Now, at a handful of diet clinics, behavioral theories are being applied to overeating as well.

According to Henry Jordan and Leonard Levitz, co-founders of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Diet Clinic, most popular diets are only temporarily effective in changing one's pattern of eating. The menu may turn out to be less important than how and where one eats. Outpatients at the Jordan-Levitz diet clinic can have peanut...

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