RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
Adolescent eating in the absence of hunger and relation to discretionary calorie allowance.
Eating in the absence of hunger is a risk factor for overeating during childhood. The objective of this study was to examine eating in the absence of hunger in adolescents based on their familial predisposition to obesity and current weight status. Thirty-one subjects (16 male, 15 female), who were 13 years of age and born at low risk or high risk for obesity, consumed lunch to fullness. After lunch, subjects had access to different snacks for 15 minutes. Eating in the absence of hunger referred to energy intake from the snacks. Low-risk females consumed two and a half times more calories from snacks than high-risk females and twice as many calories as low-risk and high-risk males when expressed as an individualized percentage of daily allowance for discretionary calories. Normal-weight females consumed two and a half times more calories from snacks than obese females and normal-weight males. The association between eating in the absence of hunger and weight and obesity risk status depended on adolescents' sex and could reflect emerging developmental differences, such as dieting or social desirability.
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