Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


After overeating, we don’t compensate by eating less


If you binged for two weeks while on vacation and gained 5 pounds, would you be biologically primed to eat less to compensate and shake off the excess weight? No, suggests a new Cornell University study.

When a group of 12 normal-weight men and women, average age 31, agreed to overeat by 35 percent for two weeks, they gained an average of 5 pounds, half of it body fat. When they were permitted to return to their normal eating behavior, they did not spontaneously cut back on their normal food intake, even after the two weeks of "feeling stuffed." Rather, they ate just as much as they did before the overeating period, as measured by the researchers during the two weeks before their binge began.

"The study suggests that eating behavior does not normally respond to internal cues, such as physiological mechanisms involved in the regulation of body weight, but to external cues," said David Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences and of psychology at Cornell. "In other words, when the subjects returned to the same environment -- in this case our eating lab -- they returned to their same eating patterns, regardless of any biological signals."

The results add to the growing evidence that environmental cues, especially portion size, appear to be a major determinant of how much we eat, he said. This finding runs counter to the current view that food intake is largely determined by biological mechanisms.

The study is published in Physiology and Behavior (Vol. 84 (5), pp. 669-675) and was co-authored by Eva Obarzanek, a nutritionist for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Gordana Mrdjenovic, Cornell Ph.D. ’00, and Barbara Strupp, associate professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell.

Despite not eating less or exercising more after gaining weight, the participants still lost about half of their weight gain in the three weeks after the overeating phase because their metabolic rate spontaneously increased. "You burn more energy simply by carrying around additional weight," Levitsky said. "The spontaneous increase in metabolic rate that we found in the subjects after overeating was remarkably consistent with a comparable overfeeding study in animals, as well as with other studies with humans and overeating."

He plans to conduct a study in the fall to examine how much additional energy is expended when carrying around extra weight. It is well known, he said, that obese people have higher energy expenditures than nonobese people, and his study is an example of weight being regulated passively without any control of food intake.

Levitsky has been exploring predictors of food intake for several years. A number of his previous studies found that the amount animals and people eat is strongly determined by portion size, and that eating between meals, or eating a very large or very small (or no) previous meal does not influence how much is eaten at the next meal.

"Consistently, we find that how much people eat is in direct relation to how much they are served, the variety of foods offered and the number of people with whom they eat," Levitsky said.

Nicola Pytell | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>