Reward sensitivity increases food 'wanting' following television 'junk food' commercials

Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, sought to investigate personality traits that make some people more vulnerable to over-eating and weight gain.

have been partly attributed to the easy access of cheap, high calorie food. However, many individuals exposed to the same food lie well within the healthy weight range. In her study, Dr. Natalie Loxton proposed reward sensitivity as a key trait predisposing some individuals to be highly attracted to cues linked with appetitive food - such as a television commercial marketing .

"We tested whether reward-sensitive individuals would experience greater pleasure and urge to eat after watching featuring junk food, compared with those featuring or no food", Dr. Loxton said.

This independent study comprised of 75 men and women who watched a 30 minute film embedded with junk food, healthy food, or no food featured in the commercials. Participants rated the pleasantness of food images and their desire to eat after watching the films.

"As hypothesised, reward sensitivity was associated with an increase in urge to eat in the junk food condition. There was no association in the healthy food condition and a reduced desire to eat in the no food condition," she said.

Dr. Loxton also discovered that reward sensitivity was associated with greater liking of junk food images, but only for women. There was no effect of reward sensitivity on liking of healthy food or non-food images.

Dr. Loxton confirmed that these findings support the role of greater food wanting in high reward sensitive individuals in response to appetitive food cues.

Provided by Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ghrelin increases willingness to pay for food

Jul 12, 2011

Research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that ghrelin, ...

Recommended for you

Study examines effect of hospital switch to for-profit status

10 hours ago

Hospital conversion from nonprofit to for-profit status in the 2000s was associated with better subsequent financial health but had no relationship to the quality of care delivered, mortality rates, or the proportion of poor ...

Hospital acquisitions leading to increased patient costs

10 hours ago

The trend of hospitals consolidating medical groups and physician practices in an effort to improve the coordination of patient care is backfiring and increasing the cost of patient care, according to a new study led by the ...

User comments