Pleasure and excess: liking for and overconsumption of chocolate

M M Hetherington, Jennifer Isabel Macdiarmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Responses to three different presentations of a highly liked food (chocolate) were measured in two groups of female subjects. One group of subjects identified themselves as overeaters of chocolate (overeaters), while the other group of subjects were of a similar age and body mass index, but ate this food in moderation (controls). The three conditions of presentation were (a) a fixed amount of milk chocolate; (b) ad lib access to milk chocolate; and (c) a self-selected amount of the individual's most preferred form of chocolate. The main findings were that variables associated with the excitation of appetite (hunger, desire to eat, prospective consumption) were higher in overeaters and variables associated with the inhibition of appetite (fullness, changes in pleasantness and pleasure of eating) were lower in overeaters relative to controls. It is suggested that investigations of individuals who eat certain foods to excess can inform our understanding of normative and aberrant eating behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995


  • Adult
  • Appetite
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cacao
  • Eating
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Hyperphagia
  • Middle Aged
  • Satiety Response


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