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Physiol Behav. 2001 Jul;73(4):533-40.

The actual, but not labelled, fat content of a soup preload alters short-term appetite in healthy men.

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Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, BN1 9QG, Brighton, UK.


The effects of the actual and labelled fat content of a soup preload on appetite at a test meal 30 min later were assessed in 16 healthy men. Each participant ate lunch on four occasions, combining two levels of fat energy (Low, 265 kJ or High, 1510 kJ) and two types of label (Low-fat or High-fat), presented as fictitious soup brand names. Preliminary work established that the Low-fat labels produced an expectation of reduced fat content and lower anticipated hedonic ratings, whereas the High-fat labels generated expectations of a high-fat content and above average hedonic ratings. These expectancies were confirmed in the main experiment, with the soups labelled as high fat rated as both more pleasant and creamy than those labelled low-fat, independent of actual fat content. However, intake at the test meal was unaffected by the preload label, but instead reflected the actual fat (hence, energy) content of the soup, with significantly lower food intake after the high-fat soup regardless of the food label. Rated hunger was lower, and fullness higher, at the start of the meal after the high-fat preloads regardless of how they were labelled, while the pattern of appetite change during the test meal was unaffected by preload. These results suggest that realistic food labels can modify the immediate experience of a consumed food, but do not alter appetite 30 min later in healthy men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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