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Eating Habits in the Obese May Echo Drug Addicts' Patterns
Date:7/22/2009

Sensitization could be at play, nutrition expert says,,,,,,

WEDNESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to weight control, it might not be the kind of snack that matters, but who eats it.

When researchers gave similarly "sinful" snacks to obese and non-obese women, the healthy-weight women wanted less of the treat over time, but obese women kept wanting more.

"Obese and non-obese women respond to high-energy, high-density snacks in different ways," said Jennifer Temple, lead author of the study, which appears in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. "For us, this underscores a need for really doing detailed studies comparing obese and non-obese women in terms of how they respond to food to try to understand things that work better to improve healthy eating."

"You can't take what you see in non-obese women and think it will automatically have the same effect in obese women," added Temple, an assistant professor in exercise and nutrition science at the University at Buffalo, in New York.

Such information could one day be useful in tailoring dieting strategies for different people.

According to background information in the study, only 10 percent of people who lose weight through dieting and exercise manage to keep that weight off for five years.

Scientists have postulated that one reason for the high failure rate is that people feel deprived of their favorite foods and end up making up for their period of abstinence.

In an earlier study, the same research team had found that "food reinforcement," the term they use to describe motivation to eat, decreased in non-obese women who were asked to consume their favorite snack, be it M&Ms or Oreo cookies, for days at a time.

"After two weeks of eating the same snack food, the women came back into the lab and said, "I don't ever want to see a potato chip again,'" Temple said. "They
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