A systematic review of the effects of dieting on food cravings in an overweight or obese population
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AbstractThe objective of this dissertation is to systematically search and evaluate the literature on the effects of weight-loss dieting on food craving in overweight or obese adults. Studies were obtained from searches of multiple electronic bibliographic databases. Inclusion criteria were: (1)adult participants (18 years and older), classified as overweight or obese by body mass index (BMI>25 kg/m2) at baseline, and currently following a hypocaloric diet for the purposes of weight loss; (2) a non-dieting overweight/obese control; (3) at least one outcomes measure relating to frequency, intensity, or behavioural dimensions of food cravings. No restrictions on study design were made. Relevant studies were assessed for risk of bias and study charactertistics, details of dietary intervention, patient details, and cravings outcomes were extracted. Eight studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review, although none provide longitudinal comparisons of the impact of dieting versus non-dieting in an exclusively overweight population. Wide heterogeneity between studies in terms of design, dietary interventions and outcome measures used precluded pooling of data. Overall, low-calorie dieting appeared to have little or no effect on frequentcy, intensity, or type of cravings, although severe caloric restriction did appear to reduce the frequency of both general and intense cravings. These is some evidence that restricted foods are craved less, rather than more, during weight-loss dieting. The data do not support lay perceptions that dieting increases food cravings; however, these findings are based on a small number of studies, and methodological issues limit the conclusions that can be drawn from these studies.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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