Relationship between Olfactory Function and BMI in Normal Weight Healthy Subjects and Patients with Overweight or Obesity
Primo;Deledda A.;Onida M.;Loviselli A.;Crnjar R.;Sollai G.
AbstractSmell plays a critical role in food choice and intake by influencing energy balance and body weight. Malnutrition problems or modified eating behaviors have been associated with olfactory impairment or loss. The obesity epidemic is a serious health problem associated with an increased risk of mortality and major physical comorbidities. The etiopathogenesis of obesity is complex and multifactorial, and one of the main factors contributing to the rapid increase in its incidence is the environment in which we live, which encourages the overconsumption of foods rich in energy, such as saturated fats and sugars. By means of the “Sniffin’ Sticks” test, we measured the olfactory threshold, discrimination and identification score (TDI score) in patients of the Obesity Center of the University Hospital (OC; n = 70) and we compared them with that of healthy normal weight controls (HC; n = 65). OC patients demonstrated a significantly lower olfactory function than HC subjects both general and specific for the ability to discriminate and identify odors, even when they were considered separately as females and males. For OC patients, a negative correlation was found between body mass index (BMI) and olfactory scores obtained by each subject, both when they were divided according to gender and when they were considered all together. Besides, normosmic OC patients showed a significantly lower BMI than hyposmic ones. A reduced sense of smell may contribute to obesity involving the responses of the cephalic phase, with a delay in the achievement of satiety and an excessive intake of high-energy foods and drinks.
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