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Psychol Bull. 2001 May;127(3):325-41.

Dietary variety, energy regulation, and obesity.

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Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, New York 14214, USA.


Increased variety in the food supply may contribute to the development and maintenance of obesity. Thirty-nine studies examining dietary variety, energy intake, and body composition are reviewed. Animal and human studies show that food consumption increases when there is more variety in a meal or diet and that greater dietary variety is associated with increased body weight and fat. A hypothesized mechanism for these findings is sensory-specific satiety, a phenomenon demonstrating greater reductions in hedonic ratings or intake of foods consumed compared with foods not consumed. Nineteen studies documenting change in preference, intake, and hedonic ratings of food after a food has been eaten to satiation in animals and humans are reviewed, and the theory of sensory-specific satiety is examined. The review concludes with the relevance of oral habituation theory as a unifying construct for the effects of variety and sensory-specific satiety, clinical implications of dietary variety and sensory-specific satiety on energy regulation, and suggestions for future research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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