Impact of Eating and Lifestyle Behaviors on Body Weight: Beyond Energy Value

  • Vicky Drapeau
  • Marion Hetherington
  • Angelo Tremblay


The excess energy intake over expenditure that underlies obesity is not only the consequence of environmental factors having an “energy value” per se, e.g. high fat, high energy dense diet and low participation in vigorous physical activities. This energy imbalance can also result from nonenergetic factors that are a source of stimuli influencing factors involved in the regulation of energy balance. In this chapter, we identify and describe feeding behaviors whose impact on energy balance is sufficient to induce a substantial weight gain. Accordingly, restrained eating and attempts to lose weight, disinhibition or a greater sensitivity to food cues, impaired satiety signals, and distraction when eating can favor overeating or increase the vulnerability to resist food intake and thus influence body weight. New lifestyle factors such as knowledge-based work and sleeping patterns have also been identified as potential triggers of overeating events though they do not represent activities with high energy expenditure. These factors, generally overlooked in body weight control interventions or obesity prevention programs, merit attention since for some the predictability for weight gain is better than that explained by unhealthy diet composition and sedentariness. In this context, the traditional weight control intervention has to be revisited and not focussed only on fat intake and physical activity participation. The observations summarized in this paper emphasize the relevance of characterizing newly considered determinants of body weight variation such as suboptimal eating behaviors and short sleep patterns in order to develop intervention strategies that specifically target them. Another potential solution could be the development of satiating menus by the food industry that could help populations expressing these feeding or lifestyle patterns to diminish their susceptibility to overeating.


Binge Eating Rest Metabolic Rate Short Sleep Duration Restrained Eating Adaptive Thermogenesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Body mass index


Resting metabolic rate


Satiety quotient


Sensitivity to reward


Three-factor eating questionnaire


Visual analogue scale


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicky Drapeau
    • 1
  • Marion Hetherington
  • Angelo Tremblay
  1. 1.Department of physical educationLaval UniversityQuebec CityCanada

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