Could Your Weight Affect How You React to Food Cues?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Most people assume that individuals are overweight because they eat too much at every meal, or they are always making unhealthy choices. But as you probably know, that’s not always the case. New research is looking at how people react to food in different ways, and how that can have an affect on eating patterns and ultimately, weight.

A new study, published in the International Journal of Obesity compared normal weight and overweight women, and how they respond to the sight and smell of pizza. The overweight subjects salivated more and had more desire to eat than the leaner subjects. But even though their reaction was stronger and were told they could eat as much as they’d like, the overweight individuals did not eat any more than the normal weight individuals.

Researchers conclude that overweight individuals might not eat more at every meal, but because of their heightened sensitivity to food, they could end up eating more frequently. This could result in snacking throughout the day, which can cause calories to quickly add up. More research is needed to determine whether certain people are born this way, or if they develop these reactions over time.

A good take-away from this is the importance of tracking food. It’s easy to think you’re not eating much if you don’t eat a lot in one sitting. But all of the small bites throughout the day can add up to big calories, and that could be a reason for weight gain or trouble losing weight. Research has shown that people who track their food can lose up to twice as much weight as those who do not.

What do you think? Do you think people react to food in different ways, and that could be a significant factor when it comes to weight?