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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1996;20(1):113-7.

Sensory-specific satiety and its importance in meal termination.

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Department of Psychology, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK.


Pleasantness is important in influencing food choice, and may play a role in determining the amount of food consumed. Judgements of pleasantness decrease as the food is eaten. It has been proposed that his reflects the development of satiety to a specific food. However, consumers may not rate these changes as important in meal termination. Fifty-seven subjects were given ad lib access to a test meal of cheese on crackers and at the end of this meal recorded the main reason for stopping from a possible seven statements. They then rank ordered the importance of each reason. One hour later, subjects were offered a choice of the same food, a different food, or no second course. Again reasons for stopping were recorded by those who selected a second course. The most common reason given for a meal termination in the first course was "I got tired of eating that food" (40%) and for the second course "I felt full" (48%). Subjects were divided into those who rated fatigue and changes in pleasantness as important and those who rated fullness as more important. Significant differences in intake between these groups indicated that those who rated fatigue/hedonics as important consumed significantly fewer calories (275 +/- 23 kcal) than those who rated fullness as more important (424 +/- 65 kcal). It is argued that fatigue experienced by subjects may reflect sensory fatigue and that this is an important part of the development of sensory-specific satiety. Since subjects who rated gastric fullness as the most important reason for terminating the meal consumed more calories, it is suggested that this index of satiety may be relatively more crude than sensory or hedonic variables.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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