Searchable abstracts of presentations at key conferences in obesity
Obesity Abstracts (2019) 1 P30 | DOI: 10.1530/obabs.01.P30

UKCO2019 Poster Presentations (1) (64 abstracts)

Craving control is the strongest psychological predictor of overconsumption in response to high energy density meals in women engaged in weight loss

Nicola Buckland 1 , Diana Camidge 2 , Fiona Croden 2 , Jacquie Lavin 3 , R James Stubbs 2 & Graham Finlayson 2

1Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; 2School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK; 3Slimming World, Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK.

Background: It is generally accepted that loss of control of eating may undermine long-term weight loss. Given the wide availability of high energy dense (HED) foods in the obesogenic environment, it is important to identify individuals most susceptible to overconsumption of HED foods during weight loss attempts. This study examined psychological predictors of overconsumption in response to HED meals during a weight loss attempt.

Methods: Ninety-six women with overweight or obesity who had voluntarily enrolled in healthy eating-based weight loss programs were recruited [analysed n=81; 41.9±1.4 years; 34.1±0.4 kg/m2]. Body weight was measured in weeks 1 and 14. After a two-week run-in period, resting metabolic rate (RMR) and psychometric eating behaviour traits were assessed (cognitive restraint, disinhibition, hunger, flexible, rigid, binge eating and craving control). Participants attended a day in the laboratory and were provided with fixed and ad libitum HED meals (>2.5 kcal/g). A fixed breakfast and lunch provided 50% of estimated individual daily energy requirements [estimated at 1.4× RMR] and participants consumed an ad libitum evening meal and snacks. The percentage difference between total daily energy intake and estimated daily energy requirements determined overconsumption.

Results: On average participants overconsumed by 33±5% (550±88 kcal; 95% CI: 375, 725). Linear regressions showed that low craving control was the only psychometric trait that significantly predicted overconsumption (R2 =0.20, P=0.04). Overconsumption on the HED day (β=0.23, P=0.005) was a significant predictor of percentage weight change at week 14, alongside %weight change during the run-in period (β=0.65, P < 0.001; R2 =0.49, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of identifying individuals susceptible to food cravings and developing strategies to manage cravings for HED foods during weight loss attempts.


Craving control, energy density, weight loss.


Study funded by Slimming World, UK.

Volume 1

UK Congress on Obesity 2019

Leeds, United Kingdom
12 Sep 2019 - 13 Sep 2019

Association for the Study of Obesity 

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