An exploration of salivation patterns in normal weight and obese children

Appetite. 2012 Apr;58(2):539-42. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.11.027. Epub 2011 Dec 3.


We examined whether children's changes in salivary habituation to food vary based on weight status and/or allocating attention to a task. Children (31 non-overweight and 26 obese, ages 9-12 year) were presented with nine trials of a food stimulus and either listened to an audiobook (attention-demanding) or white noise (no-attention control). The salivary pattern differed significantly by weight status but not by condition or a condition by weight status interaction. This is the first study of salivary habituation in obese children; findings dovetail with an emerging set of evidence that obese individuals display distinctive biological responses to food.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Attention
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Child
  • Food
  • Food Preferences / physiology
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / physiology
  • Humans
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Salivation / physiology*