Sweet taste preference in binge-eating disorder: A preliminary investigation

Erica L. Goodman, Lauren Breithaupt, Hunna J. Watson, Christine M. Peat, Jessica H. Baker, Cynthia M. Bulik, Kimberly A. Brownley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Research suggests that individuals with high liking for sweets are at increased risk for binge eating, which has been minimally investigated in individuals with binge-eating disorder (BED). Forty-one adults (85% female, 83% white) with binge eating concerns completed a sweet taste test and measures of eating disorder behaviors and food cravings. A subset of participants with BED completed an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT; N = 21) and a 24-hour dietary recall (N = 26). Regression models were used to compare highest sweet preferers (HSP [N = 18]) to other sweet preferers (OSP [N = 23]) and were used to assess associations between sweet taste preference and outcome variables. Effect sizes (ηp2) for differences between HSP and OSP ranged from small (≤ 0.01) to large (≥ 0.24); group differences were statistically nonsignificant except for 24-hour caloric intake (ηp2 = 0.16, p = 0.04), protein intake (ηp2 = 0.16, p = 0.04), and insulin sensitivity index (ηp2 = 0.24, p = 0.04), which were higher in HSP, and postprandial insulin, which was smaller in HSP (ηp2 = 0.27, p = 0.03). Continuous analyses replicated postprandial insulin response. Compared with OSP, HSP reported numerically higher binge-eating frequency (ηp2 = 0.04), over-eating frequency (ηp2 = 0.06), and carbohydrate intake (ηp2 = 0.14), and they exhibited numerically smaller postprandial glucose AUC (ηp2 = 0.16). Sweet taste preference may have implications for glucose regulation, binge-eating frequency, and nutrient intake in BED.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalEating Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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