Longitudinal prospective association between hedonic hunger and unhealthy food and drink intake in adolescents

Tyler B. Mason*, Kathryn E. Smith, Jason M. Lavender, Adam M. Leventhal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hedonic hunger (i.e., extreme responsiveness to food) has been associated with obesity and poor diet, but findings in the existing literature have primarily been cross-sectional. The current study examined hedonic hunger as a prospective predictor of the longitudinal trajectory of unhealthy food and drink intake across adolescence. Ninth grade students from Los Angeles area high schools (analyzed sample N = 3268) completed paper-and-pencil surveys across four annual waves; hedonic hunger was assessed at Wave 1, and unhealthy food and drink intake was assessed at Waves 1–4. Multilevel models showed a significant main effect of hedonic hunger and interactions between hedonic hunger and the linear and quadratic components of time. The association between hedonic hunger and unhealthy food and drink intake was strongest at Wave 1 and weakened over time, yet those with higher hedonic hunger reported greater unhealthy food and drink intake across the four years. Efforts to prevent and intervene upon hedonic hunger and its association with unhealthy food and drink intake during childhood and adolescence are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9375
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Drink
  • Eating
  • Eating behavior
  • Food intake
  • Hedonic hunger
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Youth

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