Opioids: Culprits for Overconsumption of Palatable Foods?

Pawel K. Olszewski, Johan Alsiö, Helgi B. Schiöth, Allen S Levine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A traditional dietary questionnaire probes eating habits of an individual, and it routinely assesses what foods are most palatable and what amounts of such tastants are ingested with regularity. Preferred diet profiles differ a lot between people, yet one distinctive characteristic emerges, and that is that fat and/or sugar constitute a significant percentage of the favored foods. Importantly, palatability serves calories, which consequently leads to excess weight and obesity. Among endogenous substances involved in food-intake regulation, opioid peptides are perhaps the prime suspects driving excess intake of palatable food. This notion is based on the effects of opioid agents on the consumption of preferred tastants, especially those rich in fat and sugar. This chapter discusses the role of opioids in overeating palatable foods as elucidated in animal studies, and presents applicability of the basic research findings to understanding and treating obesity in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationObesity Prevention
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780123743879
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


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