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Pleasure for visual and olfactory stimuli evoking energy-dense foods is decreased in anorexia nervosa.

Abstract : Although patients with anorexia nervosa have been suggested to be anhedonic, few experiments have directly measured their sensory pleasure for a range of food and non-food stimuli. This study aimed to examine whether restrictive anorexia nervosa (AN-R) patients displayed: i) a generalized decline in sensory pleasure or only in food-related sensory pleasure; ii) a modification of hedonic responses to food cues (liking) and of the desire to eat foods (wanting) as a function of their motivational state (hunger vs. satiety) and energy density of foods (high vs. low). Forty-six female participants (AN-R n=17; healthy controls (HC) n=29) reported before/after lunch their pleasure for pictures/odorants representing foods of different energy density and non-food objects. They also reported their desire to eat the foods evoked by the sensory stimuli, and completed the Physical Anhedonia Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory. AN-R and HC participants did not differ on liking ratings when exposed to low energy-density food or to non-food stimuli. The two groups also had similar physical anhedonia scores. However, compared to HC, AN-R reported lower liking ratings for high energy food pictures regardless of their motivational state. Olfactory pleasure was reduced only during the pre-prandial state in the AN-R group. The wanting ratings showed a distinct pattern since AN-R participants reported less desire to eat the foods representing both low and high energy densities, but the effect was restricted to the pre-prandial state. Taken together these results reflect more the influence of core symptoms in anorexia nervosa (fear of gaining weight) than an overall inability to experience pleasure.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 4:12:27 PM
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Tao Jiang, Robert Soussignan, Daniel Rigaud, Benoist Schaal. Pleasure for visual and olfactory stimuli evoking energy-dense foods is decreased in anorexia nervosa.. Psychiatry Research, Elsevier, 2010, 180 (1), pp.42-7. ⟨10.1016/j.psychres.2010.04.041⟩. ⟨hal-00761525⟩



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