Effect of BMI and binge eating on food reward and energy intake: Further evidence for a binge eating subtype of obesity

Michelle Dalton, John Blundell, Graham Finlayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The psychological characteristics of binge eating have been proposed as a phenotype to further understanding of overconsumption and susceptibility to obesity. This study examined the influence of trait binge eating in lean and overweight or obese women on appetite, food reward and energy intake. Methods: 25 lean and 25 overweight or obese women were categorised as either 'binge type' or 'non-binge type' based on their scores on the Binge Eating Scale. Food reward and food intake were assessed in fasted and fed conditions. Results: Overweight or obese binge types (O-B) consumed more energy than overweight or obese non-binge types (O-NB) and lean binge (L-B) and non-binge types (L-NB). Both L-B and O-B exhibited greater preference for sweet foods. In O-NB, L-B and L-NB, lower liking and wanting for sweet foods was exhibited in the fed condition compared to the fasted condition. However, in O-B wanting for sweet foods was greater when they were fed compared to when they were in a fasted state. Conclusions: These findings provide further support for trait binge eating as a hedonic subtype of obesity. Binge types were characterised by greater intake of high-fat sweet foods and increased wanting for these foods when satiated. Additionally, these findings highlight the potential for separation in liking and wanting for food as a marker of susceptibility to overeat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-359
Number of pages12
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Binge eating trait
  • Explicit liking
  • Food reward
  • Hedonic eating
  • Implicit wanting


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