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Appetite. 2010 Dec;55(3):512-21. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.08.019. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Regular consumption of a cereal breakfast. Effects on mood and body image satisfaction in adult non-obese women.

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  • 1Liverpool John Moores University, UK.


Breakfast has psychological and nutritional benefits due to physiological mechanisms and expectations about health impact. Beliefs people hold about calories in food can adversely affect mood and body-image satisfaction and such adverse reactions can be predicted by body mass index. The objectives were to test the effect of consuming isocaloric breakfasts, appearing different in calorie content, on appetite, mood and body-image satisfaction, and to assess impact on daily nutrient intake. One-hundred-and-twenty-three women were randomly assigned to eat a cereal or muffin breakfast which "appeared" different in calorie content while unaware they were isocaloric. Participants estimated calories of breakfast, appetite, mood, and body-image satisfaction on a daily basis for seven-days. The cereal breakfast was perceived to be lower in calories, made participants fuller, happier, relaxed, and more satisfied about weight and body compared to the muffin breakfast. Differences in estimated daily fibre and micronutrient intake were compatible with the design. Breakfasts were isocaloric yet the cereal breakfast was rated lower in calories and produced more positive psychological reactions. This evidence indicates the power of perceptions of foods to influence important attributes of health and well-being which could be valuable in dietary interventions where mood and body image satisfaction affect outcome.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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