A new research at Miriam Hospital has found why some severely obese individuals do not feel satisfied after eating and often have difficulty controlling the amount of food they consume during a meal.
According to the study, the physiological process that makes one feel full after eating may be impaired in severely obese people.
Dale Bond and others at the hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center examined how two groups of people responded to repeated tasting of lemon juice.
One group consisted of 34 obese people who were about to undergo bariatric surgery, which reduces the stomach's capacity. The other group comprised 18 normal-weight people.
The researchers measured how much participants salivated after tasting lemon juice. The normal-weight participants gradually salivated less each time they had some of the juice, indicating that they had habituated, or adjusted, to the stimulus of lemon juice. But the obese patients continued to salivate the same amount throughout the tastings.
"The failure of bariatric surgery candidates to habituate suggests that satiation, or the feeling of fullness while eating, is impaired in this population. This could play a role in the inability of some severely obese individuals to regulate or control the amount of food that they eat during a meal," Bond said.
The study's findings support previous research comparing people with mild obesity and normal-weight people.
But the researchers say that this is the first study to test this model in a severely obese group.
The study is published online in Obesity Surgery.