Food choices at the “all-you-can-eat” buffet linked to the chances of weight gain



ANI |
Updated:
03 Aug 2021 18:34 STI

Kansas [US], Aug 3 (ANI): In a new study, researchers at the University of Kansas analyzed the choices of people faced with an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The study published in the journal Appetite found that the foods people choose to pile on their plates could predict their chances of gaining weight or being obese.
The researchers focused on foods defined as “hyper appetizing,” dividing this category into foods high in carbohydrate and sodium (CSOD) or fatty foods and sodium (FSOD), and compared them to high-density foods. energy and ultra-transformed.
“Highly appetizing foods contain combinations of ingredients that can improve the palatability of a food and make the enriching properties of a food artificially strong,” said lead author Tera Fazzino, assistant professor of psychology at KU and Deputy Director of the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment at the KU Life Span Institute. “Common examples would be various chocolates, hot dogs, pretzels or brownies – foods that can be difficult to stop eating.”
In the study, young adults without obesity ate an all-you-can-eat buffet meal. The research team measured their body composition before a meal and followed up a year later. The study tracked associations between the proportions of buffet items participants chose – high energy density foods, ultra-processed foods, and super appetizing foods – and participants’ weight change and percentage change in body fat. one year later.
“We were able to examine their behavioral tendency to consume certain types of food,” Fazzino said. “Is it associated with higher energy intake relative to their physiological energy needs, and is it longitudinally associated with weight and percentage body fat gain?” “
Fazzino’s co-authors were James Dorling, John Apolzan, and Corby Martin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System. They shared the dataset that was analyzed for this study and collaborated on the article.
Fazzino and his colleagues found that participants who ate a higher proportion of hyper-appetizing foods containing carbohydrates and sodium (CSOD) in their buffet meals had a significantly higher weight change and body fat percentage. important when evaluated one year later.
“Some classic examples of super appetizing CSOD foods would be pretzels or popcorn,” Fazzino said.

But the study also found no significant body changes a year later for the people in the buffet study who ate high proportions of high-fat, high-sodium foods, high-sodium foods. energy and ultra-transformed.
Researchers concluded that eating more foods high in hyper-appetizing carbohydrates and sodium from an all-you-can-eat buffet may indicate a tendency towards ‘hedonic eating’, which may increase the risk of weight gain and body fat. in early adulthood.
“’Hedonistic eating’ is a general term used in the literature to refer to eating more focused on the rewarding characteristics of a food, as opposed to strictly satisfying physiological hunger,” Fazzino said. “The take-home point really is that people who tended to eat more foods containing carbohydrates and sodium – when they were available for free – were at greater risk of gaining weight and gaining body fat. “
However, some people have no choice but to eat super appetizing foods.
Fazzino’s new article builds on research she co-authored earlier this year in Frontiers in Psychology to find out how much babies are exposed to foods deemed to be hyper appetizing.
“If we think about how these foods can activate brain reward neural circuits in the same way that some drugs of abuse do, we want to look at the earliest point of exposure,” Fazzino said. “When babies start to eat solid foods at the table, that’s what interested us. We wanted to know the earliest possible point of exposure for these foods and the rate of exposure in infants. Additionally, we wanted to characterize the prevalence of these types of foods in baby foods that are available in the US food system. “
The researchers found that 90% of the 147 babies in the study were fed hyper-appetizing foods, mainly because they were regularly fed adult foods. In addition, 12% of foods marketed as “baby food” were found to be hyper appetizing in the study.
“We found that when babies start to eat adult food, this is the primary vehicle for their exposure,” Fazzino said. “We characterized their overall calorie intake. For infants under 12 months, they consumed an average of 38% of their daily food calories from super appetizing foods, and for older infants it was 52%. “
Since the prevalence of hyper-appetizing foods among baby foods produced in the United States is relatively low, Fazzino cautioned parents to focus their attention on adult foods offered to babies to avoid potentially harmful eating habits that could take root in babies as they age.
“If babies consume foods that are artificially very rewarding in early infancy, it could essentially be telling their physiologically – and their brains – system that, ‘Hey, this is what food is supposed to look like, and that’s how rewarding it’s supposed to be. Our concern is that they’ll get used to this level of really intense taste and intense reward at an initial stage, which will then make them want to consume more of these guys. of foods as they grow older – an early predisposing factor to the risk of obesity. ” (ANI)


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