Gastric Myoelectrical Activity and Satiety in Food Addiction



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There is no widely acknowledged definition of food addiction (FA). As food addiction is a relatively new area of research, studies have concentrated on qualifying food addiction as a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Therefore, there is a lack of research regarding physiological differences in persons with FA. The purpose of this study was to examine potential physiological differences between persons identified as having FA and those in a control group with regard to the following measures: 1) gastric myoelectrical activity2) subjective feeling of hunger and fullness and 3) appetite regulating hormones. Additionally, differences in certain psychological measures including depression, anxiety, body image and proximity of food were analyzed. Twenty-two men and women ages 19-51 years completed the study; 11 FA matched with 11 controls based on BMI, gender, age and race. No significant differences were found in gastric myoelectrical activity. Persons with FA had lower levels of ghrelin pre- and post-prandial (p=0.0068), higher levels of GLP-1 overall (p=0.014) and lower levels of PYY post-prandial (p=0.024). Persons with FA reported lower hunger post-prandial (p=0.054), consistent with ghrelin levels. Additionally, persons with FA scored significantly higher on the Power of Food Scale (p=0.018) and the Food Cravings Questionnaire-Trait (p=0.0029). The results of this study are suggestive of a physiological and psychological profile of FA, which may yield important new insights into the definition and treatment of FA.



Food Addiction, ghrelin, PYY, GLP-1, EGG, VAS, hunger, satiety