April 20, 2010
BRISTOL, United KingdomPeople who eat reformulated low-energy-dense food may be undermining its efficacy as a weight-loss product, according a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The findings suggest that familiarity can breed dislike when it comes to reduced-calorie foods and contribute to yo-yo dieting.
Researchers at the University of Bristol studied had 36 adults eat either a full-calorie spaghetti Bolognese for lunch five days in a row, or a reduced-calorie version of the same. The full-calorie prepackaged product contained 567 calories, while the diet brand contained 374 calories. During each test session, liking for the spaghetti Bolognese was assessed, together with measures of expected satiety and expected satiation.
Overall, the researchers found, diners' had a similar liking for both meals on the first day. However, appreciation for the diet version declined, with participants' ratings declining by about 30 percent, on average. Ratings for the full-calorie meal remained steady over the study.
According to the researches, it remains to be determined whether a longer period of "flavor-nutrient learning" is needed for shifts in expected satiety and expected satiation to be observed.
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