Achieving and maintaining compliance with the ketogenic diet

J Appl Behav Anal. 1995 Fall;28(3):341-2. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1995.28-341.


The ketogenic diet, a treatment for intractable epilepsy, is rarely initiated because it requires strict compliance with a diet that is perceived to be unpalatable. In a case study of a 15-year-old girl with uncontrolled epilepsy, we used a stimulus-choice procedure to assess relative preferences of 33 foods from the diet and to develop two treatments based on Premack's principle. The results of a multielement analysis showed that both treatments increased dietary compliance. Compliance was maintained with generalization of treatment across settings, and was associated with a 40% reduction in seizures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / diet therapy*
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology
  • Ketone Bodies / biosynthesis*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology


  • Ketone Bodies