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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2014, Article ID 323728, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Fasting Leptin Is a Metabolic Determinant of Food Reward in Overweight and Obese Individuals during Chronic Aerobic Exercise Training

1Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S10 2BP, UK
2Institute of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
3Department of Medical Sciences, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
4Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
5Division of Surgery, Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Received 15 November 2013; Revised 15 January 2014; Accepted 18 January 2014; Published 11 March 2014

Academic Editor: Yi-Hao Yu

Copyright © 2014 Mark Hopkins et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Changes in food reward have been implicated in exercise-induced compensatory eating behaviour. However, the underlying mechanisms of food reward, and the physiological correlates of exercise-induced changes in food reward, are unknown. Methods. Forty-six overweight and obese individuals completed 12 weeks of aerobic exercise. Body composition, food intake, and fasting metabolic-related hormones were measured at baseline, week six, and postintervention. On separate days, the reward value of high-and-low-fat food (explicit liking and implicit wanting) was also assessed at baseline, week six, and postintervention. Results. Following the intervention, FM, FFM, and improved significantly, while fasting leptin decreased. However, food intake or reward did not change significantly. Cross-sectional analyses indicated that FM ( ) and FFM ( ) were associated with explicit liking for high-fat food, but implicit wanting was associated with FM only ( ). Fasting leptin was associated with liking ( ) and wanting ( ) for high-fat food. Furthermore, a greater exercise-induced decline in fasting leptin was associated with increased liking ( ). Conclusion. These data indicate that food reward has a number of physiological correlates. In particular, fasting leptin appears to play an active role in mediating food reward during exercise-induced weight loss.