Habituation as a Determinant of Human Food Intake

Department of Pediatrics, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14214-3000, USA.
Psychological Review (Impact Factor: 7.97). 05/2009; 116(2):384-407. DOI: 10.1037/a0015074
Source: PubMed


Research has shown that animals and humans habituate on a variety of behavioral and physiological responses to repeated presentations of food cues, and habituation is related to amount of food consumed and cessation of eating. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of experimental paradigms used to study habituation, integrate a theoretical approach to habituation to food based on memory and associative conditioning models, and review research on factors that influence habituation. Individual differences in habituation as they relate to obesity and eating disorders are reviewed, along with research on how individual differences in memory can influence habituation. Other associative conditioning approaches to ingestive behavior are reviewed, as well as how habituation provides novel approaches to preventing or treating obesity. Finally, new directions for habituation research are presented. Habituation provides a novel theoretical framework from which to understand factors that regulate ingestive behavior.

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    • "The first objective of the present study was, therefore, to document gender differences in appetite responses when consuming MedDiet meals. In addition, previous studies have documented a habituation phenomenon to food cues, which corresponds to changes in physiological and behavioral responses to foods after repeated consumptions [8]. Thus the second objective was to gain insight into another unexplored issue, namely, to determine whether the satiating properties of the MedDiet persist over time, still with a particular attention for gender differences "
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    ABSTRACT: We examined gender differences in appetite sensations when exposed to Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) meals and determined whether there are gender differences in the change in the satiating properties of the MedDiet over time. Thirty-eight men and 32 premenopausal women consumed a 4-week isoenergetic MedDiet under controlled conditions. Visual analogue scales were used to measure perceived appetite sensations before and immediately after each meal consumed over the course of one day (Wednesday) of the first and the fourth week of intervention. Women reported greater decreases for desire to eat, hunger, and appetite score than men in response to the consumption of the MedDiet meals (gender-by-meal interactions, resp., P = 0.04 , P = 0.048 , and P = 0.03 ). Fullness and prospective food consumption responses did not significantly differ between men and women. Between the first and the fourth week of intervention, premeal prospective food consumption increased with time in men ( P = 0.0007 ) but not in women ( P = 0.84 ; P for gender-by-time interaction = 0.04). These results indicate gender differences in appetite sensations when exposed to the MedDiet. These results may be useful in order to have a better understanding of gender issues for body weight management.
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    • "Samples were tested in the following order: mate infusion, corn flakes, yoghurt and crackers. It should be noted that the first food that was always presented after satiety was the mate infusion (i.e. the same food that was consumed to satiation) in order to stress the observation of medium-term SSS because if SSS is the result of habituation to the infusion, the intermediate tasting of the control foods might (at least to some extent) dishabituate the decreased ratings of the infusion [20]. Participants were asked not to eat or drink anything for 3 h prior to each test session, except water which was allowed up to 1 h before the session; they were also asked to consume a similar breakfast on each test day, to maintain similar exercise schedules for the 24 h preceding arrival at the laboratory, and to refrain from drinking alcohol. "
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    ABSTRACT: The sensory-affective attributes of beverages have an important influence on a given intake and successive consumptions because of sensory-specific satiety (SSS; defined as a decrease in pleasantness ratings of a food eaten relative to uneaten foods). No studies have, however, investigated how multiple sessions of SSS for familiar drinks over a period of several days up to a week may change their pleasantness and how these hedonic-related judgments are affected by the context during SSS testing. With twenty-six participants, the present study explored the medium lasting and contextual effects of repeated SSS sessions for a bitter-sweet infusion on olfactory and flavour pleasantness over the course of three exposures in either a laboratory or a cafeteria setting. The results showed olfactory and flavour SSS for the infusion following each consumption in both the artificial and the natural setting. More interesting, despite the failure to detect medium-term SSS (i.e., a greater decrease in pleasantness ratings of a food eaten relative to uneaten foods after repeated SSS sessions over several days as compared to the first SSS session), a contextual modulation of olfactory SSS was observed with a lesser overall magnitude in the cafeteria compared to the laboratory setting. To the best of our knowledge, the impact of eating location on the development of satiation and the differential contextual sensitivity of SSS for orthonasal odours and flavours has not been reported previously. The implications of potential environmental control of SSS are considered in this study. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Physiology & Behavior
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    • "In line with this assumption, research has found that distraction is able to reduce habituation effects. For example , individuals were less likely to habituate to the consumption of popcorn when being distracted by actively watching a movie (Epstein et al., 2009b; Harris et al., 2009). Also, results of a recent meta-analysis supported the assumption that distraction leads to an increase in the amount of food consumed (Robinson et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Research has shown that imagining food consumption leads to food-specific habituation effects. In the present research, we replicated these effects and further examined whether the depletion of self-regulatory resources would reduce the habituation effects of imagined food consumption. Since self-regulatory resources have been shown to reduce habituation effects during the perception of emotional stimuli, we expected a reduction in habituation effects from imagined food consumption when self-regulatory resources were depleted. In Study 1, we replicated habituation effects as a response to imagining gummy bear consumption with a high (36) and medium number (18) of repetitions in a camouflaged taste test. Participants imagining gummy bear intake showed decreased food intake compared with participants who imagined putting a coin into a laundry machine. The number of repetitions did not significantly moderate the observed habituation effect. In Study 2, we investigated whether self-regulatory depletion would impede habituation effects evoked by the imagination of walnut consumption. Participants in a depleted state did not show a reduction in food intake after imagining walnut intake compared with participants in a non-depleted state. We discuss directions for future research and processes that might underlie the observed moderating effect of self-regulatory resources.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Frontiers in Psychology
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