Liking vs. wanting food: Importance for human appetite control and weight regulation

Biopsychology Group, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (Impact Factor: 8.8). 02/2007; 31(7):987-1002. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2007.03.004
Source: PubMed


Current train of thought in appetite research is favouring an interest in non-homeostatic or hedonic (reward) mechanisms in relation to overconsumption and energy balance. This tendency is supported by advances in neurobiology that precede the emergence of a new conceptual approach to reward where affect and motivation (liking and wanting) can be seen as the major force in guiding human eating behaviour. In this review, current progress in applying processes of liking and wanting to the study of human appetite are examined by discussing the following issues: How can these concepts be operationalised for use in human research to reflect the neural mechanisms by which they may be influenced? Do liking and wanting operate independently to produce functionally significant changes in behaviour? Can liking and wanting be truly experimentally separated or will an expression of one inevitably contain elements of the other? The review contains a re-examination of selected human appetite research before exploring more recent methodological approaches to the study of liking and wanting in appetite control. In addition, some theoretical developments are described in four diverse models that may enhance current understanding of the role of these processes in guiding ingestive behaviour. Finally, the implications of a dual process modulation of food reward for weight gain and obesity are discussed. The review concludes that processes of liking and wanting are likely to have independent roles in characterising susceptibility to weight gain. Further research into the dissociation of liking and wanting through implicit and explicit levels of processing would help to disclose the relative importance of these components of reward for appetite control and weight regulation.

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Available from: Graham Finlayson,
    • "While liking can be explained as the hedonic reaction to the pleasure of a reward, the wanting component can be described as the incentive salience linked with the motivation towards an item (Berridge, 2009). This approach, first applied in animal research, was also translated to human studies (Finlayson et al, 2007). Thanks to numerous studies investigating neuronal correlates , dopamine is known to be one of the key agents for food reward and control of food intake (Kenny, 2011; Richard et al, 2012; Volkow et al, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Reward sensitivity and possible alterations in the dopaminergic reward system are associated with obesity. We therefore aimed to investigate the influence of dopamine depletion on food reward processing. We investigated 34 female subjects in a randomized placebo-controlled, within-subject design (BMI=27.0 kg/m(2)±4.79 SD; age=28y±4.97 SD) using an acute phenylalanine/tyrosine depletion drink representing dopamine depletion and a balanced amino acid drink as the control condition. Brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging during a 'wanting' and 'liking' rating of food items. Eating behavior-related traits and states were assessed on the basis of questionnaires. Dopamine depletion resulted in reduced activation in the striatum and higher activation in the superior frontal gyrus independent of body mass index (BMI). Brain activity during the wanting task activated a more distributed network than during the liking task. This network included gustatory, memory, visual, reward and frontal regions. An interaction effect of dopamine depletion and the wanting/liking task was observed in the hippocampus. The interaction with the covariate BMI was significant in motor and control regions but not in the striatum. Our results support the notion of altered brain activity in the reward and prefrontal network with blunted dopaminergic action during food reward processing. This effect is, however, independent of BMI, which contradicts the reward deficiency hypothesis. This hints to hypothesis suggesting a different or more complex mechanism underlying the dopaminergic reward function in obesity.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 09 October 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.313.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2015; DOI:10.1038/npp.2015.313 · 7.05 Impact Factor
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    • "Therefore, ingestion of palatable food, instead of terminating food intake, leads to a maintained drive to eat, with continued eating due to reward rather than energy deficit (Finlayson et al., 2007). Overeating then becomes a possibility (Berthoud, 2006; Blundell & Macdiarmid, 1997). "
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    ABSTRACT: Green-plant membranes, thylakoids, have previously been found to increase postprandial release of the satiety hormone GLP-1, implicated in reward signaling. The purpose of this study was to investigate how treatment with a single dose of thylakoids before breakfast affects homeostatic as well as hedonic hunger, measured as wanting and liking for palatable food (VAS). We also examined whether treatment effects were correlated to scores for eating behavior. Compared to placebo, intake of thylakoids significantly reduced hunger (21% reduction, p<0.05), increased satiety (14% increase, p<0.01), reduced cravings for all snacks and sweets during the day (36% reduction, p<0.05), as well as cravings for salty (30%, p<0.01); sweet (38%, p<0.001); and sweet-and-fat (36%, p<0.05) snacks, respectively, and decreased subjective liking for sweet (28% reduction, p<0.01). The treatment effects on wanting all snacks, sweet-and-fat snacks in particular, were positively correlated to higher emotional eating scores (p<0.01). The treatment effect of thylakoids on scores for wanting and liking were correlated to a reduced intake by treatment (p<0.01 respectively), even though food intake was not affected significantly. In conclusion, thylakoids may be used as a food supplement to reduce hedonic hunger, associated with overeating and obesity. Individuals scoring higher for emotional eating behavior may have enhanced treatment effect on cravings for palatable food. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Appetite 04/2015; 401. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2015.04.051 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    • "For example, Biological Psychiatry has dedicated its May 2013 special issue to FA and its theoretical relationship with drug addictions. Animal (Heyne et al., 2009; Sampey et al., 2011) and human (Berner et al., 2012; Finlayson et al., 2007) theoretical models of FA and overeating have emerged, raising further interrogations on the validity of the issue. Concerns and controversy arise with 1) the definition of FA as a SUD, as various lines of results in the past decade have investigated this concept under different names and clinical criteria and with 2) its level of relevance and causality in the development and maintenance of obesity. "

    Neuropharmacology 10/2014; 85:81-90. · 5.11 Impact Factor
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