The presence of real food usurps hypothetical health value judgment in overweight people

Medic, Nenad and Ziauddeen, Hisham and Forwood, Suzanna E. and Davies, Kirsty and Ahern, Amy L. and Jebb, Susan A. and Marteau, Theresa M. and Fletcher, Paul (2016) The presence of real food usurps hypothetical health value judgment in overweight people. eNeuro, 3 (2). ENEURO.0025-16.2016. ISSN 2373-2822

Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview
Official URL:


To develop more ecologically valid models of the neurobiology of obesity, it is critical to determine how the neural processes involved in food-related decision-making translate into real-world eating behaviours. We examined the relationship between goal-directed valuations of food images in the MRI scanner and food consumption at a subsequent ad libitum buffet meal. We observed that 23 lean and 40 overweight human participants showed similar patterns of value-based neural responses to health and taste attributes of foods. In both groups, these value-based responses in the ventromedial PFC were predictive of subsequent consumption at the buffet. However, overweight participants consumed a greater proportion of unhealthy foods. This was not predicted by in-scanner choices or neural response. Moreover, in overweight participants alone, impulsivity scores predicted greater consumption of unhealthy foods. Overall, our findings suggest that, while the hypothetical valuation of health of foods is predictive of eating behaviour in both lean and overweight people, it is only the real-world food choices that clearly distinguish them.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Eating behavior, Food choices, Impulsivity
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 26 May 2016 13:26
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:00

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item