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Study Shows Eating Patterns Are Different For Obese and Non-Obese

Posted Jul 22 2009 12:00am

With the growing rate of obesity in this country more and more research is being done to understand eating habits. Scientists have postulated that one reason for the high failure rate is that people feel deprived of their favorite foods and end up making up for their period of abstinence. A recent study was done to determine if healthy weight/non-obese and obese people have similar patterns in eating. Researchers gave high calorie/high fat snacks to obese and non-obese women, the healthy-weight women wanted less of the treat over time, but obese women kept wanting more. Snacks tended to fall into one of two categories: high-fat and high-sugar (cookies, candy bars) or savory, meaning just high in fat (such as potato chips). The non-obese women who snacked on 300-calorie portions exhibited no increase in motivation to eat. In fact, after 2 weeks, the non-obese did not want to see that particular snack again. However, motivation to eat did increase in obese women who consumed the larger portion even though they didn’t enjoy it. This is a pattern that is generally seen in drug addicts. The idea of sensitization, which is seen with drug use may be happening with food. So the more they have, the more they need. It is clear that the obese have a need that the food fills. It is an interesting concept, more research will be done.

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