(1) The objective of this study is to analyze differences in smell–taste capacity between females in extreme weight/eating conditions (EWC) and (2) to explore the interaction between smell/taste capacity, gastric hormones, eating behavior and body mass index (BMI). The sample comprised 239 females in EWC [64 Anorexia nervosa (AN) and 80 age-matched healthy-weight controls, and 59 obese and 36 age-matched healthy-weight controls]. Smell and taste assessments were performed through “Sniffin’ Sticks” and “Taste Strips,” respectively. The assessment measures included the eating disorders inventory-2, the symptom check list 90-revised, and The Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire, as well as peptides from the gastrointestinal tract [Ghrelin, peptide YY, cholecystokinin]. Smell capacity was differentially associated across EWC groups. Smell was clearly impaired in obese participants and increased in AN (hyposmia in Obesity was 54.3 and 6.4 % in AN), but taste capacity did not vary across EWC. Ghrelin levels were significantly decreased in obese subjects and were related to smell impairment. EWC individuals showed a distinct smell profile and circulating ghrelin levels compared to controls. Smell capacity and ghrelin may act as moderators of emotional eating and BMI.
- Anorexia nervosa
- Emotional eating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism