Associations of Brain Reactivity to Food Cues with Weight Loss, Protein Intake and Dietary Restraint during the PREVIEW Intervention

Mathijs Drummen*, Elke Dorenbos, Anita C. E. Vreugdenhil, Gareth Stratton, Anne Raben, Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga, Tanja C. Adam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Web of Science)


The objective was to assess the effects of a weight loss and subsequent weight maintenance period comprising two diets differing in protein intake, on brain reward reactivity to visual food cues. Brain reward reactivity was assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging in 27 overweight/obese individuals with impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance (HOMA-IR: 3.7 +/- 1.7; BMI: 31.8 +/- 3.2 kg/m(2); fasting glucose: 6.4 +/- 0.6 mmol/L) before and after an 8-week low energy diet followed by a 2-year weight maintenance period, with either high protein (HP) or medium protein (MP) dietary guidelines. Brain reactivity and possible relationships with protein intake, anthropometrics, insulin resistance and eating behaviour were assessed. Brain reactivity, BMI, HOMA-IR and protein intake did not change differently between the groups during the intervention. In the whole group, protein intake during weight maintenance was negatively related to changes in high calorie images>low calorie images (H > L) brain activation in the superior/middle frontal gyrus and the inferior temporal gyrus (p <0.005, corrected for multiple comparisons). H > L brain activation was positively associated with changes in body weight and body-fat percentage and inversely associated with changes in dietary restraint in multiple reward, gustatory and processing regions (p <0.005, corrected for multiple comparisons). In conclusion, changes in food reward-related brain activation were inversely associated with protein intake and dietary restraint during weight maintenance after weight loss and positively associated with changes in body weight and body-fat percentage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1771
Number of pages14
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • fMRI
  • food cues
  • food reward
  • obesity
  • insulin resistance
  • protein intake
  • weight loss
  • FAT

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