Effects of Food Consistency on Ruminating
Previous research has shown that increasing oropharyngeal stimulation can lead to decreased postmeal ruminating in retarded individuals. The method for producing supplementary stimulation involved getting profoundly and severely retarded individuals to chew sugarless gum. This study further examined the role of oropharyngeal stimulation in ruminating by varying the consistency of the regular diet, a more practical treatment procedure. The consistency of daily meals was varied in a repeated measures design using an ABAB sequence of puree and normal consistency phases. The results showed that the frequency of ruminating after meals approximately doubled in the puree phases for all subjects. This supports previous findings about the role of oropharyngeal stimulation in ruminating and suggests that feeding ruminating individuals a pureed diet may be counterproductive.
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