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Appetitive traits as targets for weight loss: The role of food cue responsiveness and satiety responsiveness.

  • Author(s): Boutelle, Kerri N
  • Manzano, Michael A
  • Eichen, Dawn M
  • et al.

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Individuals with overweight or obesity (OW/OB) are at increased risk for significant physical and psychological comorbidities. The current treatment for OW/OB is behavioral weight loss, which provides psychoeducation on nutrition and physical activity, as well as behavior therapy skills. However, behavioral weight loss is not effective for the majority of the individuals who participate. Research suggests that overeating, or eating past nutritional needs, is one of the leading causes of weight gain. Accumulating evidence suggests that appetitive traits, such as food cue responsiveness and satiety responsiveness, are associated with overeating and weight in youth and adults. The following review presents the current literature on the relationship between food cue responsiveness, satiety responsiveness, overeating, and OW/OB. Research suggests that higher food cue responsiveness and lower satiety responsiveness are associated with overeating and OW/OB cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Emerging data suggest that food cue responsiveness and satiety responsiveness may exist along the same continuum and can be targeted to manage overeating and reduce weight. We have developed a treatment model targeting food cue responsiveness and satiety responsiveness to reduce overeating and weight and have preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy data, with testing currently being conducted in larger trials. Through programs targeting appetitive traits we hope to develop an alternative weight loss model to assist individuals with a propensity to overeat.

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