Mind Over Milkshakes: Mindsets, Not Just Nutrients, Determine Ghrelin Response

Alia J. Crum, William Corbin, Kelly D. Brownell, Peter Salovey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To test whether physiological satiation as measured by the gut peptide ghrelin may vary depending on the mindset in which one approaches consumption of food. Methods: On 2 separate occasions, participants (n = 46) consumed a 380-calorie milkshake under the pretense that it was either a 620-calorie " indulgent" shake or a 140-calorie " sensible" shake. Ghrelin was measured via intravenous blood samples at 3 time points: baseline (20 min), anticipatory (60 min), and postconsumption (90 min). During the first interval (between 20 and 60 min) participants were asked to view and rate the (misleading) label of the shake. During the second interval (between 60 and 90 min) participants were asked to drink and rate the milkshake. Results: The mindset of indulgence produced a dramatically steeper decline in ghrelin after consuming the shake, whereas the mindset of sensibility produced a relatively flat ghrelin response. Participants' satiety was consistent with what they believed they were consuming rather than the actual nutritional value of what they consumed. Conclusions: The effect of food consumption on ghrelin may be psychologically mediated, and mindset meaningfully affects physiological responses to food.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-429
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Keywords

  • Ghrelin
  • Hunger
  • Mindset
  • Nutrition
  • Product labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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