|Nutrition Evidence Library|
Gilhooly CH, Das SK, Golden JK, McCrory MA, Dallal GE, Saltzman E, Kramer FM, Roberts SB. Food cravings and energy regulation: the characteristics of craved foods and their relationship with eating behaviors and weight change during 6 months of dietary energy restriction. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Dec;31(12):1849-58.
PubMed ID: 17593902
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Research Design and Implementation Rating:
POSITIVE: See Research Design and Implementation Criteria Checklist below.
This study was conducted to identify changes in reported food cravings during a 6 month period of energy restriction leading to weight loss.
Subjects were overweight (BMI 25-30), healthy women, who were part of the CALERIE trial (a 12 month study of energy restriction) at Tufts University.
Subjects had to be free of diseases that might influence outcomes (eg diabetes, cancer, coronary heart diseases, etc) and could not be using medications that influenced energy intake or metabolism. Ineligibility criteria also included high dietary restraint score measured by Eating Inventory, very high activity levels, inability to complete a plausible dietary record, reported weight gain or loss of >6.8 kg in the previous year, and anticipated lifestyle changes over the following year such as pregnancy or moving out of state.
Description of Study Protocol:
Recruitment Subjects were recruited as part of the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study, a one-year pilot study at Tufts Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. Subjects gave written, informed consent, and were provided a stipend.
Design Baseline energy requirements were determined as total energy expenditure using the doubly labeled water (DLW) technique during a 7-week weight-stable baseline period. Subjects were then randomized into two diets: either a high glycemic (HG) load or low glycemic (LG) load diet.
Blinding used (if applicable) NA
Intervention (if applicable) A high glycemic (HG) load or low glycemic (LG) load diet and either a 10% (N=7) or 30% (N=25) energy restriction (ER). The HG diet provided 60% CHO, 20% protein, and 20% fat, mean glycemic index (GI) of 86. The LG diet provided 40% CHO, 30% protein, and 30% fat, with a glycemic index of 53. All foods and beverages were provided during the 24-week food-provided phase.
Statistical Analysis Paired t-tests were used to compare changes within subjects over the 6 months. Independent t-tests and analysis of variance were used to assess any difference between the randomized groups (diet composition and ER level). Linear regression and Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to assess the relationship between food cravings and factors of eating behavior and BMI. Predictors of weight loss were assessed with multiple regression.
Data Collection Summary:
Timing of Measurements Baseline measurements were made and energy requirements were determined during a 7-week weight-stable baseline period. Subjects were then randomized into a diet group and provided with appropriate foods for 24 weeks. Outcome measures were then taken.
Description of Actual Data Sample:
Initial N: 34 women
Attrition (final N): 32 women (2 dropped out with no explanation)
Age: 20-42 years
Ethnicity: not described
Other relevant demographics:
Location: Tufts University, Boston
Summary of Results:
Cravings for energy-dense foods are common, have origins in the expression of hunger susceptibility, and do not decrease in frequency during a six month ER regimen. Lifetime high BMI was predicted by larger self-reported portion sizes of craved foods, while weight loss success was predicted by reduced frequency of giving in to the desire to eat craved foods.
This study received a neutral quality evaluation due to the small N and no description of subject recruitment.
Copyright American Dietetic Association (ADA).