METABOLIC PHENOTYPING GUIDELINES: Studying eating behaviour in humans

    1. John E Blundell
    1. Biopsychology Group, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JZ, UK
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to C Gibbons; Email: c.gibbons{at}


    The study of human appetite and eating behaviour has become increasingly important in recent years due to the rise in body weight dysregulation through both obesity and eating disorders. Adequate control over appetite is paramount for the control of body weight and in order to understand appetite, it is necessary to measure eating behaviour accurately. So far, research in this field has revealed that no single experimental design can answer all research questions. Each research question posed will require a specific study design that will limit the findings of that study to those particular conditions. For example, choices will be made among the use of laboratory or free-living studies, time period for examination, specific measurement techniques and investigative methodologies employed. It is important that these represent informed decisions about what design and which methodology will provide the most meaningful outcomes. This review will examine some of the ‘gold standard’ study designs and methodologies currently employed in the study of human appetite and eating behaviour.

    • Received in final form 11 April 2014
    • Accepted 25 April 2014
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