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

July 10, 2012

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.

Explore further: Ghrelin increases willingness to pay for food

Related Stories

Ghrelin increases willingness to pay for food

July 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, ...

Feeding hormone ghrelin modulates ability of rewarding food to evoke dopamine release

July 12, 2011
New research findings 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, finds that ...

Heightened sensitivity to cheap, high-calorie food is linked with obesity

April 5, 2012
Obesity is increasing worldwide in adults and children and is currently viewed by many as one of the most serious threats to public health. It is likely that solutions to the obesity pandemic will require changes in public ...

Brain scans show specific neuronal response to junk food when sleep-restricted

June 10, 2012
The sight of unhealthy food during a period of sleep restriction activated reward centers in the brain that were less active when participants had adequate sleep, according to a new study using brain scans to better understand ...

Our brains on food: From anorexia to obesity and everything in between

April 3, 2012
The brains of people with anorexia and obesity are wired differently, according to new research. Neuroscientists for the first time have found that how our brains respond to food differs across a spectrum of eating behaviors ...

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

New study: Nearly half of US medical care comes from emergency rooms

October 17, 2017
Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.