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Physiol Behav. 2000 Jan;68(3):271-7.

Palatability and intake relationships in free-living humans: measurement and characterization in the French.

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Department Of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta 30303, USA.


To investigate palatability influences on the ad lib eating behavior of free-living humans, 54 French participants were paid to maintain food intake diaries for four 7-day periods. They recorded their intake along with palatability ratings, on a seven-point scale, of each individual item eaten and also a global rating of the palatability of the entire meal. Higher levels of palatability were found to be related to larger meal sizes, durations, and deprivation ratios, smaller satiety ratios, greater hunger, and lower depression and anxiety. The global palatability rating was found to be superior to individual item palatability ratings as a measure of the palatability of the meal. Although palatability was found to have fairly large effects on intake, it accounted for less than 2% of the variance. It was concluded that, in the natural environment, there are a large number of other powerful variables present that add variance. In addition, people tend to self-select only a restricted range of highly palatable foods. As a result, in the natural environment, the influence of palatability on intake is limited.

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