gms | German Medical Science

5. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e.V. (DGESS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e.V.

03.03. - 05.03.2016, Essen

Trait food craving predicts consumption of high-calorie foods in obese, but not normal-weight children and adolescents

Meeting Abstract

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e.V. (DGESS). 5. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Essstörungen. Essen, 03.-05.03.2016. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2016. Doc16dgess039

doi: 10.3205/16dgess039, urn:nbn:de:0183-16dgess0397

Veröffentlicht: 18. Februar 2016

© 2016 Meule et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Background: Research in adults suggests that obese individuals with trait binge eating represent a hedonic subtype with higher implicit wanting, craving and preference for and intake of high-fat sweet foods as compared to obese individuals without trait binge eating. The current study tested whether such a subtype already exists in children and adolescents with a wide range of body mass while avoiding the controversial concept of binge eating in this age group.

Methods: Children and adolescents (n = 133; Mage = 13.4 ± 2.3 years; MzBMI = 1.5 ± 1.4; 46% male) completed the Food Cravings Questionnaire – Trait and were tested in the laboratory. They were presented with pictures of high- and low-calorie foods and prompted to select eight foods for later consumption. Selected foods were presented at the end of the experiment in a bogus taste test.

Results: Trait food craving scores and zBMI interactively predicted liking of high-calorie, but not of low-calorie foods, the number of high-calorie foods selected and calories consumed. Specifically, higher trait food craving scores were associated with higher liking of high-calorie foods, a higher number of high-calorie foods selected, and a higher amount of calories consumed in individuals with a high body mass (+1 SD), but not in individuals with low body mass (-1 SD). A moderated mediation model revealed that trait food craving positively predicted the amount of calories consumed via higher liking of high-calorie foods in obese, but not in normal-weight participants.

Conclusions: In overweight and obese adolescents, liking, selection, and consumption of high-calorie foods differed as a function of trait food craving, which supports the idea of a reward-sensitive subtype within this group.