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Sports Med. 2016 Dec;46(12):1897-1919. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0518-9.

Does Habitual Physical Activity Increase the Sensitivity of the Appetite Control System? A Systematic Review.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. k.beaulieu14@leeds.ac.uk.
2
School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.
3
Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It has been proposed that habitual physical activity improves appetite control; however, the evidence has never been systematically reviewed.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine whether appetite control (e.g. subjective appetite, appetite-related peptides, food intake) differs according to levels of physical activity.

DATA SOURCES:

Medline, Embase and SPORTDiscus were searched for articles published between 1996 and 2015, using keywords pertaining to physical activity, appetite, food intake and appetite-related peptides.

STUDY SELECTION:

Articles were included if they involved healthy non-smoking adults (aged 18-64 years) participating in cross-sectional studies examining appetite control in active and inactive individuals; or before and after exercise training in previously inactive individuals.

STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS:

Of 77 full-text articles assessed, 28 studies (14 cross-sectional; 14 exercise training) met the inclusion criteria.

RESULTS:

Appetite sensations and absolute energy intake did not differ consistently across studies. Active individuals had a greater ability to compensate for high-energy preloads through reductions in energy intake, in comparison with inactive controls. When physical activity level was graded across cross-sectional studies (low, medium, high, very high), a significant curvilinear effect on energy intake (z-scores) was observed.

LIMITATIONS:

Methodological issues existed concerning the small number of studies, lack of objective quantification of food intake, and various definitions used to define active and inactive individuals.

CONCLUSION:

Habitually active individuals showed improved compensation for the energy density of foods, but no consistent differences in appetite or absolute energy intake, in comparison with inactive individuals. This review supports a J-shaped relationship between physical activity level and energy intake. Further studies are required to confirm these findings.

PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:

CRD42015019696.

PMID:
27002623
PMCID:
PMC5097075
DOI:
10.1007/s40279-016-0518-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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