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

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20 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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