The effect of hunger status and weight on the preference of food
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Obesity has become a global problem. One of the most important factors contributing to obesity is eating in the absence of hunger. Eating in the absence of hunger in obese individuals may be caused by an unchanged preference for high-energy foods. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of hunger/satiation and weight on the preference of food. 136 participants did an online task rating food images on preference. In a sub experiment, 27 participants did the rating task in two conditions; hungry and satiated. Results showed an interaction effect of hunger status and weight on the preference of food. The difference in preference ratings between hunger and satiety is higher in the lighter-weight people and there is only a small difference in preference between hunger and satiety in the heavier-weight people. The sub experiment showed an effect of hunger status on preference. There was also an interaction effect of weight and energy content on preference. Results of this study suggest that both hunger status and weight play an important role in food preference. This could be used to develop a new strategy for reducing and preventing obesity.