Change in craving and frequency of consuming palatable foods for non-homeostatic motives after a gut-cued eating intervention

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Little is known regarding consumption of palatable foods (PFs) for non-homeostatic reasons after weight-loss interventions and if baseline or change in frequency of this kind of eating can predict weight-loss outcomes. Little is also known of the relationship between PF eating for non-homeostatic motives and PF craving. Addressing these gaps is important because cravings and habitual consumption of PFs in the absence of homeostatic need contribute to obesity. Methods: N = 30 adults with a mean 34.8 BMI completed a seven-response choice version of the PEMS (PEMS-7) before and after Gut-Cued Eating (GCE), an intervention that did not ban PFs but instructed them to eat only when stomach-hungry and stop eating before feeling too full. Photos of PFs were also rated pre- and post-GCE. Results: Frequency of eating PFs for social, reward enhancement, and coping, but not conformity motives, decreased after GCE. The decreases predicted amount of weight loss independent of initial weight and demographics. PF craving also decreased and, while correlated with decreasing PF intake, it did not predict weight loss. Discussion: The study is preliminary because GCE was uncontrolled. However, results warrant a controlled investigation. That craving and frequency of consuming PFs for non-homeostatic motives declined with an intervention that did not ban PFs suggests a method that may voluntarily decrease one's intake of PFs. This should facilitate weight-loss and healthy-weight maintenance. Finally, decreased eating for non-homeostatic motives suggests that individuals were no longer using PFs to cope, socialize, and enhance reward, a change with benefits beyond weight loss.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Eating Behaviors  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • White TR; Wood AS; Ebeling M; Braswell AC; Lausen MA; Isaac S; Gampher JE; Boggiano MM
  • Volume

  • 46