Appetite and adiposity revival of the externality theory of obesity by theoryman


									Appetite and adiposity: re-building a psychological theory of obesity
Jane Wardle, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Epidemiology and
Public Health, University College London

In 1968, in an influential paper in Science, psychologist Stanley Schachter proposed
that obesity was caused by two abnormalities of appetite: low responsiveness to
internal satiety cues and high responsiveness to external food cues. Externality
Theory subsequently lost support in the face of evidence that restrained eating - rather
than weight status - was the better predictor of appetite. For the next 25 years,
restraint became the primary focus of psychological research into eating behaviour.

This paper will describe a series of studies that have rekindled interest in externality.
Based on new ways of assessing responsiveness to satiety and food cues, they present
evidence for the heritability of appetite and show associations between appetite and
adiposity in early childhood. Implications for treatment and prevention will be

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