How does food-cue exposure lead to overeating?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Exposure to the sight and smell of food increases subsequent food intake. This study explored the reason why over-consumption occurs. Three hypotheses were considered: cue exposure (1) increases the amount of food that people want to eat, (2) increases tolerance of larger portion sizes, and (3) arrests the development of satiety. Fifty female participants were each tested in two conditions. In a ‘cue condition’ they were exposed to the sight and smell of pizza for 1 min. Before and after this period several measures were taken, including an assessment of ideal portion size and the maximum pizza size that the participants would tolerate. Finally, participants were offered ad lib access to pizza. The ‘no-cue condition’ was identical except that cue exposure was replaced by a 1-min cognitive task. Relative to this condition, ideal pizza portion size, desire for pizza, and ad libitum intake was significantly greater after cue exposure. This suggests that cue exposure increases energy intake because it increases the amount of food that people want and plan to eat. In future, studies should consider whether individuals who are especially cue reactive consume larger everyday portion sizes and are overweight. Copyright © 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Translated title of the contributionHow does food-cue exposure lead to overeating?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAppetite
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Conference Proceedings/Title of Journal: Appetite


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