Drs. Jameason Cameron and Gary Goldfield are co-authors on a paper, “Fasting for 24 Hours Heightens Reward from Food and Food-Related Cues,” that was recently published in PLoS One. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.

Cameron JD, Goldfield GS, Finlayson G, Blundell JE, Doucet É (2014) Fasting for 24 Hours Heightens Reward from Food and Food-Related Cues. PLoS ONE 9(1): e85970. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085970.

ABSTRACT: Introduction. We examined the impact of a 24 hour complete fast (vs. fed state) on two measures of food reward: 1) ‘wanting’, as measured by response to food images and by the relative-reinforcing value of food (RRV), and 2) ‘liking’, as measured by response to food images and the hedonic evaluation of foods consumed. Methods. Utilizing a randomized crossover design, 15 subjects (9 male; 6 female) aged 28.6±4.5 yrs with body mass index 25.3±1.4 kg/m2 were randomized and counterbalanced to normal feeding (FED) and 24-hour fast (FASTED) conditions. Trait characteristics were measured with the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire. Two computer tasks measured food reward: 1) RRV progressive ratio task, 2) explicit ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ (Leeds Food Preference Questionnaire, LFPQ). Also measured were ad libitum energy intake (EI; buffet) and food ‘liking’ (visual analogue scale) of personalized stimuli. Results. There were no significant anthropometric changes between conditions. Appetite scores, hedonic ratings of ‘liking’, and ad libitum EI all significantly increased under the FASTED condition (p<0.05). Under the FASTED condition there were significant increases in the RRV of snack foods; similarly, explicit ‘wanting’ and ‘liking’ significantly increased for all food categories. ‘Liking’ of sweet foods remained high across-meals under FASTED, but savory foods decreased in hedonic saliency. Conclusion. Relative to a fed state, we observed an increase in hedonic ratings of food, the rewarding value of food, and food intake after a 24 hr fast. Alliesthesia to food and food cues is suggested by heightened hedonic ratings under the FASTED condition relative to FED.

Click here to the paper in full for free.