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Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Oct;80(4):823-31.

Sensory-specific satiety in obese and normal-weight women.

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  • 1Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO Nutrition and Food Research, Zeist, Netherlands.



Sensory-specific satiety has been found to play an important role in food choice and meal termination, and it might be a factor contributing to obesity.


We hypothesized that obese and normal-weight people have different sensitivities to sensory-specific satiety for high-fat foods.


Sensory-specific satiety was measured in 21 obese [x body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)): 33.1] and 23 normal-weight (BMI: 22.8) women who were matched for restrained eating behavior, physical activity, age, and smoking behavior. Food intake, appetite ratings, and liking scores before and after an ad libitum lunch were measured. Products differed in fat content and taste (ie, low-fat sweet, low-fat savory, high-fat sweet, and high-fat savory), and the subjects tested all 4 products. In the first study, sandwiches were tested; in the second study, snacks were tested.


Sensory-specific satiety for all products was observed in both subject groups. No significant differences were observed between the obese and normal-weight subjects in either sensory-specific satiety or food intake for any of the products or product categories tested. Taste (sweet or savory) had a significantly (P < 0.05) stronger effect on sensory-specific satiety than did fat content. Appetite ratings strongly decreased after lunch, and appetite for a meal or snack after lunch was significantly higher in obese than in normal-weight subjects, whereas scores before lunch did not differ significantly.


Obese and normal-weight people do not differ in their sensitivity to sensory-specific satiety, and factors other than fat content have the greatest effect on sensory-specific satiety.

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