Effect of fat- and sucrose-containing foods on the size of eating episodes and energy intake in lean males: potential for causing overconsumption

S M Green, V J Burley, J E Blundell
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1994, 48 (8): 547-55

OBJECTIVE: This study compared the action of sucrose- and fat-containing foods on the size of eating episodes (satiation) and postingestive energy intake (satiety).

DESIGN: The study was a 2 x 2 within-subjects design, each subject received each of four conditions in a counterbalanced order.

SETTING: The study was carried out in the Human Appetite and Nutrition Research Unit.

SUBJECTS: Eighteen normal-weight young male University students.

INTERVENTIONS: Subjects consumed a low (2238 kJ) or high (3962 kJ) energy lunch followed 2 h later by the opportunity to eat freely from an ad libitum selection of high fat, low sucrose or high sucrose, low fat snacks. Visual analogue rating scales to record subjective feelings of hunger, fullness and related sensations were completed periodically through the test day.

RESULTS: When offered a high sucrose, low fat selection of snacks subjects consumed less energy than when offered a high fat, low sucrose selection (P < 0.0001). However postingestive satiety was similar. The energy intake of snacks consumed was also determined by hunger; the low energy lunch gave rise to a higher level of hunger and greater intake (P < 0.01). Energy intake for the total day was significantly more when high fat, low sucrose snacks were consumed (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: These results have indicated that the size of an eating episode is influenced by the level of hunger and the nutrient composition of the foods consumed. High fat foods (probably due to higher energy density) lead to a passive overconsumption which generates a relatively weak satiety.

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