Understanding the Effect of Exercise on Future Food Intake: The Role of Behavioral, Physiological, and Neural Mechanisms

Summary: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires the implementation of behavioral choices in diet and exercise, which can interact to promote weight loss and long-term weight control. Exercise, for instance, can suppress appetite and food intake over the short term, but the long-term consequences vary considerably among individuals: While some successfully lose weight through exercise, others may use exercise to justify poor food choices. Candidate sources of this variation are endocrine and neural mechanisms underlying reward, appetite, and self-regulation. Our long-term goal is to integrate biological and behavioral perspectives to develop individual-specific (i.e., precision medicine) strategies that can be used to improve food and exercise choices and promote long-term health. The goals of this project are to assess the influence of exercise on food choices (Specific Aim 1), to identify neuroendocrine factors that explain inter-individual differences in food-choices in the post-exercise state (Specific Aim 2), and to explore how exercise alters neural pathways involved in decision making about food (Specific Aim 3). By uncovering pathways whereby individuals make food choices in an appetite-suppressed state and commit to these in the future, our research has a strong potential to produce healthier long-term outcomes.

Funding: University of Nebraska Food for Health Collaboration Initiative

Co-Investigators: Jeffrey Stevens (UNL, Department of Psychology), Jeffrey French (UNO, Department of Psychology), Julie Boron (UNO, Department of Gerontology),  Matthew Bice (UNK, Kinesiology and Sport Sciences Department), Maital Neta (UNL, Department of Psychology), Scott Stoltenberg (UNL, Department of Psychology), Christopher Gustaffson (UNL, Agricultural Economics), Ron Bulbulian (UNO, School of Health & Kinesiology), Dustin Slivka (School of Health & Kinesiology), Jung Min Lee (School of Health & Kinesiology), Kendra Schmid (UNMC, College of Public Health), Teresa Smith (Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition),