Projects per year
Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) seems to uniquely contribute to excess weight gain, and several mechanisms have been proposed to account for this. Here we examine a further proposal, namely that explicit wanting and liking for SSBs may be less sensitive to changes in physiological state, when contrasted to equi-palatable solid sweet snacks. Study 1 explored this by having participants rate wanting for (on seeing) and liking of (on tasting) several SSBs and snacks, before and after receiving a solid lunch with ad libitum water. Participant reports of hunger and thirst, obtained at multiple time-points, equally reduced across lunch. Wanting for the snacks decreased significantly more across lunch than liking, but for the SSBs, wanting and liking decreased in parallel. Study 2 engineered a far more dramatic alteration in thirst, by using fluid deprivation, a liquid lunch, and encouraging drinking to satiation. This time, reduction in thirst exceeded reduction in hunger. However, all this served to achieve was an equivalent change across lunch for snacks and SSBs, with wanting reducing more than liking now for both. These findings suggest that changes in wanting, relative to liking, for SSBs, are less sensitive to alterations in physiological state than equi-palatable solid snacks, enhancing the chance of consumption.