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Food cravings and body weight

a conditioning response

Myers, Candice A.; Martin, Corby K.; Apolzan, John W.

Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity: October 2018 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 298–302
doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000434
OBESITY AND NUTRITION: Edited by Caroline M. Apovian

Purpose of review To provide current information on interventions that alter food cravings. Specifically, dietary, physical activity, pharmacologic, and bariatric surgery interventions are examined. Lastly, the effects of social determinants and current controversies on food cravings are outlined.

Recent findings Dietary, pharmacologic, and bariatric surgery weight loss interventions decrease food cravings. Physical activity interventions also decrease cravings. There is potential to see differential responses in food cravings in different demographic and socioeconomic groups, but more research is needed.

Summary Food cravings influence body weight. Food craving reductions are because of reductions in the frequency of consuming craved foods, independent of energy content, but further research is warranted. Most findings continue to support the conditioning model of food cravings.

Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Correspondence to John W. Apolzan, MS, PhD, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA. Tel: +1 225 763 2827; fax: +1 225 763 3022; e-mail:

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