Paper Authors and Title

Enya Gallagher (Technological University Dublin), Aileen Kennedy, Thaïs De Ruyter, “The interrelation between dietary habits and appetite hormone levels in children”



The present study aims to examine the relationship between dietary habits and appetite hormone levels in children through data analysis. Understanding how the diet can impact physiological mediators of appetite in children can provide an insight into long-term effective weight management, and could help ameliorate the growing issue of childhood obesity.


Data was collected from 312 participants (mean age 4.57 years). Blood samples and demographic data were retrieved, and a 12-item Mediterranean diet assessment tool was completed. The appetite suppressing hormones glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1), peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY), pancreatic polypeptide (PP) and leptin were measured from the blood samples. The demographic data included age, z-score body mass index (zBMI), sex and social economic status (SES). The Mediterranean diet assessment tool measured the dietary habits of the participants by calculating their adherence to the Mediterranean diet.


No correlation was found between the Mediterranean diet and appetite hormone levels (p>0.05). PP and leptin were significantly correlated with an inverse relationship (r= -0.26). PYY and leptin were also significantly correlated with an r value of 0.16. There were significant correlations between PP and sex (p<0.001, r=0.22), zBMI (p=0.05, r= -0.06) and SES (p=0.02, r=0.16). There were also significant correlations found between leptin and sex (p<0.001, r= -0.36), age (p=0.02, r=0.10), zBMI (p<0.001, r=0.40) and SES (p=0.03, r= -0.12).


The results of this study show that there is no association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and appetite hormone levels in children. Other associations between appetite hormone levels and confounding factors were discovered.


Download and view Enya Gallagher’s poster.


Download and view Enya Gallagher’s slides.