Medizinische Universität Graz Austria/Österreich - Forschungsportal - Medical University of Graz

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Gewählte Publikation:

Platzer, M.
Food Craving and Nutritional Behavior in Bipolar Disorder
Humanmedizin; [ Diplomarbeit ] Medical University of Graz; 2014. pp. 83 [OPEN ACCESS]


Autor*innen der Med Uni Graz:
Platzer Martina
Dalkner Nina
Holasek Sandra Johanna

Introduction. It is suggested that behavioral factors like physical activity and eating habits play a crucial role in the onset and maintenance of overweight and obesity in bipolar disorder. Previous research indicates that individuals with bipolar disorder tend to make less healthy food choices, e.g. consuming more foods high in fat and sugar and less fruit and vegetables, than the general population. Objective. The objective of this diploma thesis was to further explore eating behavior in individuals with bipolar disorder by assessing differences in food craving, the preference for certain types of food, overall energy intake and macronutrient intake between a clinical collective and community control subjects. Methods. Fifty individuals with DSM-IV bipolar disorder attending a specialist bipolar outpatient clinic and fifty reference subjects were recruited for this study. In addition to taking blood samples and the collection of sociodemographic and anthropometric data, participants completed the Food Craving Inventory as well as a 4-day estimated diet record. Results. Despite the fact that patients exhibited more metabolic risk factors (e.g. higher BMI, higher levels of triglycerides, and lower levels of HDL) than controls, the two groups did not differ substantially in overall reported energy and macronutrient intake. Additionally, patients were not prone to making less healthy food choices than controls. Individuals with bipolar disorder did experience higher levels of total food craving and fat craving than reference subjects. Furthermore, levels of craving for sweets were higher in male patients than in male controls. Among patients, but not among controls, the craving for sweets was related to reported intake of sweets and sucrose. Overall, cravers were more likely to be male, smokers, and have a higher waist-hip-ratio than non-cravers. Conclusion. Due to the high percentage of energy-underreporters in this sample, all results regarding nutritional intake have to be interpreted with caution. However, the phenomenon of food craving appears to be of clinical relevance in individuals with bipolar disorder. The prevalence in men and the craving for high-fat foods in particular warrant further investigations.

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