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Appetite. 2011 Dec;57(3):769-71;discussion 784-90. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.12.023. Epub 2010 Dec 28.

Satiety and body weight control. Promise and compromise. Comment on 'Satiety. No way to slim'.

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Division of Kinesiology, PEPS, Room 0234, Laval University, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6.


Satiety is a complex psycho-physiological mechanism that allows the adjustment of energy intake to expenditures. As such, it plays an important role among the numerous interacting mechanisms contributing to body weight control. Booth and Nouwen rightfully stress that satiety claims can be misleading and even dangerous when they are misrepresented or misinterpreted as slimming claims. Indeed, a substance that might enhance satiety, especially by affecting sensations on the short term, will not necessarily help to decrease energy intake on the longer term or facilitate weight loss. While denouncing abusive claims, the article by Booth and Nouwen also refers to numerous contributions of satiety mechanisms that could potentially affect intake and weight control over the long term. We propose that multi-step proofs of concepts could be useful in this field. Satiety effects are one early step in a complex demonstration of how a substance could affect short-term intake, hormonal mechanisms, and medium or long term changes in body weight. An example of such a step-wise process is described (beneficial effects of calcium and dairy products on appetite and weight change). Booth and Nouwen insist that satiety effects should be evaluated in the context of the local socio-cultural meal pattern and lifestyle. This wise advice supports the use of multi-step proofs of concept, perhaps including the use of biomarkers as well as behavioural measures, before any satiety enhancement claim can be considered to have any actual impact on body weight control.

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