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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Aug;25(8):1343-1348. doi: 10.1002/oby.21895. Epub 2017 Jun 15.

Frequency of Consuming Foods Predicts Changes in Cravings for Those Foods During Weight Loss: The POUNDS Lost Study.

Author information

1
Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
2
Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
3
Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
4
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Food cravings are thought to be the result of conditioning or pairing hunger with consumption of certain foods.

METHODS:

In a 2-year weight loss trial, subjects were randomized to one of four diets that varied in macronutrient content. The Food Craving Inventory (FCI) was used to measure cravings at baseline and at 6 and 24 months. Food intake was also measured at those time points. To measure free-living consumption of food items measured in the FCI, items on the FCI were matched to the foods consumed from the food intake assessments. Secondarily, the amount of food consumed on food intake assessments from foods on the FCI was analyzed.

RESULTS:

Three hundred and sixty-seven subjects with overweight and obesity were included. There was an association between change from baseline FCI item consumption and change in cravings at months 6 (P < 0.001) and 24 (P < 0.05). There was no association between change from baseline amount of energy consumed per FCI item and change in cravings.

CONCLUSIONS:

Altering frequency of consuming craved foods is positively associated with cravings; however, changing the amount of foods consumed does not appear to alter cravings. These results support the conditioning model of food cravings and provide guidance on how to reduce food cravings.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00072995.

PMID:
28618170
PMCID:
PMC5529244
DOI:
10.1002/oby.21895
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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