Circulating leptin moderates the effect of stress on snack intake independent of body mass

Eat Behav. 2010 Aug;11(3):152-5. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2010.01.004. Epub 2010 Jan 13.


Prior studies have demonstrated influences of leptin on hunger and satiety, the processing of food reward, and taste and palatability perception. This pilot study tested whether leptin accounts for variability in stress-induced changes in snack intake, and explored potential mechanisms underlying this effect. Thirty-four normal weight and class I obese women were exposed to a 30-minute mental stressor and a non-stressful control task in counterbalanced order on consecutive days. Higher serum leptin concentrations predicted decreases in snack intake following the stressor relative to the control condition. Leptin was not a significant predictor of overall hunger or stress-induced changes in hunger, but was associated with greater perceived palatability of one of the four snacks. Overall, findings suggest that leptin may moderate the effect of stress on energy intake through non-homeostatic mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight
  • Eating / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leptin / blood*
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Stress, Psychological / blood*


  • Leptin