Investigation of the long-term sustainability of changes in appetite after weight loss
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Background/Objective Diet-induced weight loss (WL) leads to a compensatory increase in appetite and changes in the plasma concentration of appetite-regulating hormones are likely to play a role. Whether these changes are transient or sustained remains unclear. This study aimed to assess if changes in subjective and objective appetite markers observed with WL are sustained after 1 year (1Y). Subjects/Methods In total 100 (45 males) individuals with obesity (BMI: 37 ± 4 kg/m2, age: 43 ± 10 years) underwent 8 weeks (wks) of a very-low energy diet (VLED), followed by 4 wks refeeding, and a 1Y maintenance program. Fasting/postprandial subjective ratings of hunger, fullness, desire to eat, and prospective food consumption (PFC) were assessed, and plasma concentration of active ghrelin (AG), total peptide YY (PYY), active glucagon-like peptide 1, cholecystokinin (CCK), and insulin measured, at baseline, week 13 (Wk13) and 1Y. Results At Wk13, 16% WL (−18 ± 1 kg, P < 0.001) was associated with a significant increase in fasting and postprandial hunger ratings (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively), and postprandial fullness (P < 0.01) combined with a reduction in PFC (P < 0.001). These were accompanied by a significant rise in basal and postprandial AG concentrations (P < 0.001, for both), a reduction in postprandial CCK (P < 0.01) and in basal and postprandial insulin (P < 0.001). At 1Y follow-up, with sustained WL (15%; −16 ± 1 kg, P < 0.001), fasting hunger and postprandial fullness ratings remained increased (P < 0.05 for both), and postprandial PFC reduced (P < 0.001). Basal and postprandial AG remained elevated and insulin reduced (P < 0.001, for all), while postprandial CCK was increased (P < 0.01) and PYY decreased (P < 0.001). Conclusion With a 15% sustained WL at 1Y, the drive to eat in the fasting state is increased, but this may be balanced out by raised postprandial feelings of fullness. To assist with WL maintenance, new strategies are required to manage increased hunger and drive to eat.