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.
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