(P13-021-20) Changes in Hunger and Craving in an 8-Week Commercial Weight Loss Program Using a Food Addiction framework
Objectives: Commercial weight loss programs continue to target modifiable obesity risk factors, including physical activity and nutrition. However, the impact of these commercial programs on individuals’ levels of hunger and food cravings has rarely been reported. Given the associations among hunger, food cravings, caloric intake, and long-term adherence to a particular way of eating, it is important to rigorously examine changes in hunger and cravings among participants in these programs. The present study examines changes in hunger and food cravings among participants in Bright Line Eating: Boot Camp (BLE:BC), an 8-week telehealth commercial weight loss program.
Methods: Data come from 10 weekly surveys (including a program baseline and ending survey) completed by n=1,208 individuals enrolled and completed the BLE:BC program between September 2018 and November 2019. This time-frame was selected as a result of the availability of data on daily levels of hunger and food cravings.. We focus on the primary outcome variables of hunger and food cravings measured through weekly self-reported survey data. In addition to examining trends in hunger and cravings over the course of the BLE:BC, we also stratified the primary outcomes by baseline weight status.
Results: Participants in the present study were predominantly white (93.2%), female (95.6%), and of high socioeconomic status. We used ANOVA tests to examine variation in hunger and food cravings at baseline and change from baseline to program completion. Baseline levels of hunger and food cravings were higher among participants who were at a higher baseline weight status (F=16.4, p< .001). On average, participants experienced significant reductions in hunger and food cravings from baseline to program completion (p< .001). Participants who began the program at a higher body mass index experienced greater reductions in their levels of hunger and food cravings (F=13.3, p< .001).
Conclusions: Changes in hunger and food cravings constitute important components of success in commercial weight loss programs. The present study reports daily self-reported levels of hunger and food cravings for participants enrolled in an 8-week telehealth commercial weight loss program. The results show significant reductions in hunger and cravings among BLE:BC program participants.
Funding Sources: None to report
Andrew K. Thaw
Department Chair Millsaps College Jackson, Mississippi