Obesity results from a temporary or prolonged positive energy balance due to an alteration in the homeostatic feedback of energy balance. Food, with its discriminative and hedonic qualities, is a key element of reward-based energy intake. An alteration in the brain reward system for highly palatable energy-rich foods, comprised of fat and carbohydrates, could be one of the main factors involved in the development of obesity by increasing the attractiveness and consumption of fat-rich foods. This would induce, in turn, a decrease in the taste of fat. A better understanding of the altered reward system in obesity may open the door to a new era for the diagnosis, management and treatment of this disease.
Keywords: fat taste; food intake; obesity; reward system.