Skip to main content

Food craving is associated with multiple weight loss attempts

Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate the association between food craving and lifetime number of weight-loss attempts, as a proxy index of difficulties in weight-loss maintenance. The participants were 100 adult out-patients with BMI ≥ 25 admitted at three medical centers for the treatment of obesity and excess weight in Rome (Italy). The patients were administered the State and Trait Food Cravings Questionnaire, trait version (FCQ-T). The patients with five or more weight loss episodes (compared to those with four treatments or less) differed in all the dimensions of the FCQ-T. Food craving is associated with more difficulties in weight-loss maintenance after weight-loss interventions.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Eckardt K, Taube A, Eckel J (2011) Obesity-associated insulin resistance in skeletal muscle: role of lipid accumulation and physical inactivity. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 12:163–172

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Wing RR, Hill JO (2001) Successful weight loss maintenance. Annu Rev Nutr 21:323–341

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Karhunen L, Lyly M, Lapvetelainen A, Kolehmainen M, Laaksonen DE, Lahteenmaki L, Poutanen K (2012) Psychobehavioural factors are more strongly associated with successful weight management than predetermined satiety effect or other characteristics of diet. J Obes 2012:274068

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Wang GJ, Volkow ND, Logan J, Pappas NR, Wong CT, Zhu W, Netusil N, Fowler JS (2001) Brain dopamine and obesity. Lancet 357:354–357

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Stice E, Yokum S, Blum K, Bohon C (2010) Weight gain is associated with reduced striatal response to palatable food. J Neurosci 30:13105–13109

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Fowler JS, Tomasi D, Baler R (2011) Food and drug reward: overlapping circuits in human obesity and addiction. Curr Top Behav Neurosci 11:1–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    White MA, Whisenhunt BL, Williamson DA, Greenway FL, Netemeyer RG (2002) Development and validation of the food-craving inventory. Obes Res 10:107–114

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    von Deneen KM, Liu Y (2011) Obesity as an addiction: why do the obese eat more? Maturitas 68:342–345

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Volkow ND, Wise RA (2005) How can drug addiction help us understand obesity? Nat Neurosci 8:555–560

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Gearhardt AN, Yokum S, Orr PT, Stice E, Corbin WR, Brownell KD (2011) Neural correlates of food addiction. Arch Gen Psychiatry 68:808–816

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Green MW, Rogers PJ, Elliman NA (2000) Dietary restraint and addictive behaviors: the generalizability of Tiffany’s cue reactivity model. Int J Eat Disord 27:419–427

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Blum K, Braverman ER, Holder JM, Lubar JF, Monastra VJ, Miller D, Lubar JO, Chen TJ, Comings DE (2000) Reward deficiency syndrome: a biogenetic model for the diagnosis and treatment of impulsive, addictive, and compulsive behaviors. J Psychoactive Drugs 32(Suppl: i–iv):1–112

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Franz MJ, VanWormer JJ, Crain AL, Boucher JL, Histon T, Caplan W, Bowman JD, Pronk NP (2007) Weight-loss outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of weight-loss clinical trials with a minimum 1-year follow-up. J Am Diet Assoc 107:1755–1767

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Svetkey LP, Stevens VJ, Brantley PJ, Appel LJ, Hollis JF, Loria CM, Vollmer WM, Gullion CM, Funk K, Smith P, Samuel-Hodge C, Myers V, Lien LF, Laferriere D, Kennedy B, Jerome GJ, Heinith F, Harsha DW, Evans P, Erlinger TP, Dalcin AT, Coughlin J, Charleston J, Champagne CM, Bauck A, Ard JD, Aicher K (2008) Comparison of strategies for sustaining weight loss: the weight loss maintenance randomized controlled trial. JAMA 299:1139–1148

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Elfhag K, Rossner S (2005) Who succeeds in maintaining weight loss? A conceptual review of factors associated with weight loss maintenance and weight regain. Obes Rev 6:67–85

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Odom J, Zalesin KC, Washington TL, Miller WW, Hakmeh B, Zaremba DL, Altattan M, Balasubramaniam M, Gibbs DS, Krause KR, Chengelis DL, Franklin BA, McCullough PA (2010) Behavioral predictors of weight regain after bariatric surgery. Obes Surg 20:349–356

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Jakicic JM (2009) The effect of physical activity on body weight. Obesity 17(Suppl 3):S34–S38

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Pepino MY, Finkbeiner S, Mennella JA (2009) Similarities in food cravings and mood states between obese women and women who smoke tobacco. Obesity 17:1158–1163

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Fabbricatore M, Imperatori C, Morgia A, Contardi A, Tamburello S, Tamburello A, Innamorati M (2011) Food craving and personality dimensions in overweight and obese patients attending low energy diet therapy. Obe Metab 7:e28–e34

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Moreno S, Rodriguez S, Fernandez MC, Tamez J, Cepeda-Benito A (2008) Clinical validation of the trait and state versions of the Food Craving Questionnaire. Assessment 15:375–387

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    White MA, Grilo CM (2005) Psychometric properties of the Food Craving Inventory among obese patients with binge eating disorder. Eat Behav 6:239–245

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Fabbricatore M, Imperatori C, Pecchioli C, Micarelli T, Contardi A, Tamburello S, Innamorati M, Tamburello A (2011) Binge eating and BIS/BAS activity in obese patients with intense food craving who attend weight control programs. Obe Metab 7:e21–e27

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Jarosz PA, Dobal MT, Wilson FL, Schram CA (2007) Disordered eating and food cravings among urban obese African American women. Eat Behav 8:374–381

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Vander Wal JS, Johnston KA, Dhurandhar NV (2007) Psychometric properties of the State and Trait Food Cravings Questionnaires among overweight and obese persons. Eat Behav 8:211–223

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Wing RR, Phelan S (2005) Long-term weight loss maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr 82:222S–225S

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Cepeda-Benito A, Gleaves DH, Fernandez MC, Vila J, Williams TL, Reynoso J (2000) The development and validation of Spanish versions of the State and Trait Food Cravings Questionnaires. Behav Res Ther 38:1125–1138

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Cepeda-Benito A, Fernandez MC, Moreno S (2003) Relationship of gender and eating disorder symptoms to reported cravings for food: construct validation of state and trait craving questionnaires in Spanish. Appetite 40:47–54

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Marlatt GA, Gordon JR (1985) Relapse prevention: maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behaviors. Guilford Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Kaplan GB, Heinrichs SC, Carey RJ (2011) Treatment of addiction and anxiety using extinction approaches: neural mechanisms and their treatment implications. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 97:619–625

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Wise RA (2009) Roles for nigrostriatal—not just mesocorticolimbic—dopamine in reward and addiction. Trends Neurosci 32:517–524

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Hogarth L (2011) The role of impulsivity in the aetiology of drug dependence: reward sensitivity versus automaticity. Psychopharmacology 215:567–580

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Penas-Lledo EM, Loeb KL, Martin L, Fan J (2007) Anterior cingulate activity in bulimia nervosa: a fMRI case study. Eat Weight Disord 12:e78–e82

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Mathes WF, Brownley KA, Mo X, Bulik CM (2009) The biology of binge eating. Appetite 52:545–553

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Fowler JS, Tomasi D, Telang F (2011) Quantification of behavior sackler colloquium: addiction: beyond dopamine reward circuitry. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:15037–15042

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Coelho JS, Polivy J, Herman CP (2006) Selective carbohydrate or protein restriction: effects on subsequent food intake and cravings. Appetite 47:352–360

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Martin CK, O’Neil PM, Tollefson G, Greenway FL, White MA (2008) The association between food cravings and consumption of specific foods in a laboratory taste test. Appetite 51:324–326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Meule A, Lutz A, Vogele C, Kubler A (2012) Food cravings discriminate differentially between successful and unsuccessful dieters and non-dieters. Validation of the Food Cravings Questionnaires in German. Appetite 58:88–97

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Budak AR, Thomas SE (2009) Food craving as a predictor of “relapse” in the bariatric surgery population: a review with suggestions. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care 4:115–121

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Goldman RL, Borckardt JJ, Frohman HA, O’Neil PM, Madan A, Campbell LK, Budak A, George MS (2011) Prefrontal cortex transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) temporarily reduces food cravings and increases the self-reported ability to resist food in adults with frequent food craving. Appetite 56:741–746

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Alberts HJ, Mulkens S, Smeets M, Thewissen R (2010) Coping with food cravings. Investigating the potential of a mindfulness-based intervention. Appetite 55:160–163

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Conflict of interest

None.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marco Innamorati.

About this article

Cite this article

Fabbricatore, M., Imperatori, C., Contardi, A. et al. Food craving is associated with multiple weight loss attempts. Mediterr J Nutr Metab 6, 79–83 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12349-012-0115-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Obesity
  • Food craving
  • Relapses
  • Weight-loss attempts