Smell–taste dysfunctions in extreme weight/eating conditions: analysis of hormonal and psychological interactions

Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Zaida Agüera, Jose C. Fernández-García, Lourdes Garrido-Sanchez, Juan Alcaide-Torres, Francisco J. Tinahones, Cristina Giner-Bartolomé, Rosa M. Baños, Cristina Botella, Ausias Cebolla, Rafael de la Torre, Jose M. Fernández-Real, Francisco J. Ortega, Gema Frühbeck, Javier Gómez-Ambrosi, Roser Granero, Mohamed A. Islam, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Salomé Tárrega, José M. MenchónAna B. Fagundo, Carolina Sancho, Xavier Estivill, Janet Treasure, Felipe F. Casanueva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. (1) The objective of this study is to analyze differences in smell–taste capacity between females in extreme weight/eating conditions (EWC) and (2) to explore the interaction between smell/taste capacity, gastric hormones, eating behavior and body mass index (BMI). The sample comprised 239 females in EWC [64 Anorexia nervosa (AN) and 80 age-matched healthy-weight controls, and 59 obese and 36 age-matched healthy-weight controls]. Smell and taste assessments were performed through “Sniffin’ Sticks” and “Taste Strips,” respectively. The assessment measures included the eating disorders inventory-2, the symptom check list 90-revised, and The Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire, as well as peptides from the gastrointestinal tract [Ghrelin, peptide YY, cholecystokinin]. Smell capacity was differentially associated across EWC groups. Smell was clearly impaired in obese participants and increased in AN (hyposmia in Obesity was 54.3 and 6.4 % in AN), but taste capacity did not vary across EWC. Ghrelin levels were significantly decreased in obese subjects and were related to smell impairment. EWC individuals showed a distinct smell profile and circulating ghrelin levels compared to controls. Smell capacity and ghrelin may act as moderators of emotional eating and BMI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-267
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Emotional eating
  • Ghrelin
  • Obesity
  • Smell
  • Taste


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