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J Nutr. 2012 Jan;142(1):125-30. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.148106. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Susceptibility to overeating affects the impact of savory or sweet drinks on satiation, reward, and food intake in nonobese women.

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  • 1BioPsychology Group, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. g.s.finlayson@leeds.ac.uk

Abstract

Taste is involved in food preference and choice, and it is thought that it can modulate appetite and food intake. The present study investigated the effect of savory or sweet taste on satiation, reward, and food intake and according to individual differences in eating behavior traits underlying susceptibility to overeating. In a crossover design, 30 women (BMI = 22.7 ± 2.3; age = 21.9 ± 2.6 y) consumed a fixed energy preload (360 kJ/g) with a savory, sweet, or bland taste before selecting and consuming items from a test meal ad libitum. Sensations of hunger were used to calculate the satiating efficiency of the preloads. A computerized task was used to examine effects on food reward (explicit liking and implicit wanting). The Three Factor Eating Questionnaire was used to compare individual differences in eating behavior traits. Satiation and total food intake did not differ according to preload taste, but there was an effect on explicit liking and food selection. The savory preload reduced liking and intake of high-fat savory foods compared to sweet or bland preloads. The eating behavior trait disinhibition interacted with preload taste to determine test meal intake. Higher scores were associated with increased food intake after the sweet preload compared to the savory preload. Independent of preload taste, disinhibition was associated with lower satiating efficiency of the preloads and enhanced implicit wanting for high-fat sweet food. Savory taste has a stronger modulating effect on food preference than sweet or bland taste and may help to preserve normal appetite regulation in people who are susceptible to overeating.

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