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Concept: Appetite


Psychological and neurobiological evidence implicates hippocampal-dependent memory processes in the control of hunger and food intake. In humans, these have been revealed in the hyperphagia that is associated with amnesia. However, it remains unclear whether ‘memory for recent eating’ plays a significant role in neurologically intact humans. In this study we isolated the extent to which memory for a recently consumed meal influences hunger and fullness over a three-hour period. Before lunch, half of our volunteers were shown 300 ml of soup and half were shown 500 ml. Orthogonal to this, half consumed 300 ml and half consumed 500 ml. This process yielded four separate groups (25 volunteers in each). Independent manipulation of the ‘actual’ and ‘perceived’ soup portion was achieved using a computer-controlled peristaltic pump. This was designed to either refill or draw soup from a soup bowl in a covert manner. Immediately after lunch, self-reported hunger was influenced by the actual and not the perceived amount of soup consumed. However, two and three hours after meal termination this pattern was reversed - hunger was predicted by the perceived amount and not the actual amount. Participants who thought they had consumed the larger 500-ml portion reported significantly less hunger. This was also associated with an increase in the ‘expected satiation’ of the soup 24-hours later. For the first time, this manipulation exposes the independent and important contribution of memory processes to satiety. Opportunities exist to capitalise on this finding to reduce energy intake in humans.

Concepts: Psychology, Food, Memory, Hippocampus, Appetite, Episodic memory, Amnesia, Restaurant


BACKGROUND: Slow eating has been associated with enhanced satiation, but also with increased water intake. Therefore, the role of water ingestion in regard to eating rate needs to be discerned. This study examined the influence of eating rate on appetite regulation and energy intake when water intake is controlled. METHODS: In a randomized design, slow and fast eating rates were compared on two occasions, in 30 women (22.7+/-1.2y; BMI=22.4+/-0.4kg/m2) who consumed an ad libitum mixed-macronutrient lunch with water (300 mL). Satiation was examined as the main outcome by measuring energy intake during meals. At designated times, subjects rated hunger, satiety, desire-to-eat, thirst, and meal palatability on visual analogue scales. Paired t-tests were used to compare hypothesis-driven outcomes. Appetite ratings were compared across time points and conditions by repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) using a within-subject model. RESULTS: Energy intake and appetite ratings did not differ between conditions at meal completion. However, subjects rated less hunger and tended to rate lower desire-to-eat and greater satiety at 1 hour following the slow condition. CONCLUSIONS: Results tend to support a role of slow eating on decreased hunger and higher inter-meal satiety when water intake is controlled. However, the lack of significant differences in energy intake under these conditions indicates that water intake may account for the effects of eating rate on appetite regulation.

Concepts: Nutrition, Variance, Water, Eating, Normal distribution, Analysis of variance, Appetite, Food and drink


Rats prefer energy-rich foods over chow and eat them to excess. The pattern of eating elicited by this diet is unknown. We used the behavioral satiety sequence to classify an eating bout as a meal or snack and compared the eating patterns of rats fed an energy rich cafeteria diet or chow.

Concepts: Nutrition, Eating, Food, Motivation, Dieting, Appetite, Food and drink


Cachexia is a hallmark of pulmonary tuberculosis and is associated with poor prognosis. A better understanding of the mechanisms behind such weight loss could reveal targets for therapeutic intervention. The role of appetite-regulatory hormones in tuberculosis is unknown.

Concepts: HIV, AIDS, Pulmonology, Lung, Poverty, Tuberculosis, Weight loss, Appetite


Background:There is emerging literature demonstrating a relationship between the timing of feeding and weight regulation in animals. However, whether the timing of food intake influences the success of a weight-loss diet in humans is unknown.Objective:To evaluate the role of food timing in weight-loss effectiveness in a sample of 420 individuals who followed a 20-week weight-loss treatment.Methods:Participants (49.5% female subjects; age (mean±s.d.): 42±11 years; BMI: 31.4±5.4 kg m(-2)) were grouped in early eaters and late eaters, according to the timing of the main meal (lunch in this Mediterranean population). 51% of the subjects were early eaters and 49% were late eaters (lunch time before and after 1500 hours, respectively), energy intake and expenditure, appetite hormones, CLOCK genotype, sleep duration and chronotype were studied.Results:Late lunch eaters lost less weight and displayed a slower weight-loss rate during the 20 weeks of treatment than early eaters (P=0.002). Surprisingly, energy intake, dietary composition, estimated energy expenditure, appetite hormones and sleep duration was similar between both groups. Nevertheless, late eaters were more evening types, had less energetic breakfasts and skipped breakfast more frequently that early eaters (all; P<0.05). CLOCK rs4580704 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associated with the timing of the main meal (P=0.015) with a higher frequency of minor allele (C) carriers among the late eaters (P=0.041). Neither sleep duration, nor CLOCK SNPs or morning/evening chronotype was independently associated with weight loss (all; P>0.05).Conclusions:Eating late may influence the success of weight-loss therapy. Novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the caloric intake and macronutrient distribution-as is classically done-but also the timing of food.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 29 January 2013; doi:10.1038/ijo.2012.229.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, SNP array, Weight loss, Dieting, Appetite, Restaurant, Meal


Increasing evidence points to associations between light-dark exposure patterns, feeding behavior, and metabolism. This study aimed to determine the acute effects of 3 hours of morning versus evening blue-enriched light exposure compared to dim light on hunger, metabolic function, and physiological arousal. Nineteen healthy adults completed this 4-day inpatient protocol under dim light conditions (<20lux). Participants were randomized to 3 hours of blue-enriched light exposure on Day 3 starting either 0.5 hours after wake (n = 9; morning group) or 10.5 hours after wake (n = 10; evening group). All participants remained in dim light on Day 2 to serve as their baseline. Subjective hunger and sleepiness scales were collected hourly. Blood was sampled at 30-minute intervals for 4 hours in association with the light exposure period for glucose, insulin, cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin. Homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and area under the curve (AUC) for insulin, glucose, HOMA-IR and cortisol were calculated. Comparisons relative to baseline were done using t-tests and repeated measures ANOVAs. In both the morning and evening groups, insulin total area, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-IR AUC were increased and subjective sleepiness was reduced with blue-enriched light compared to dim light. The evening group, but not the morning group, had significantly higher glucose peak value during blue-enriched light exposure compared to dim light. There were no other significant differences between the morning or the evening groups in response to blue-enriched light exposure. Blue-enriched light exposure acutely alters glucose metabolism and sleepiness, however the mechanisms behind this relationship and its impacts on hunger and appetite regulation remain unclear. These results provide further support for a role of environmental light exposure in the regulation of metabolism.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Insulin, Hormone, Obesity, Insulin resistance, Glycogen, Appetite


A 38-year-old man presented with worsening abdominal pain, vomiting, anorexia, generalized weakness, and weight loss that had begun 3 days earlier. He had a history of eating raw beef. Examination of stool showed an embryonated egg containing an oncosphere.

Concepts: Symptoms, Abdominal pain, Mammal, Appetite, Taenia saginata, Taenia


Hypothalamic leptin signalling has a key role in food intake and energy-balance control and is often impaired in obese individuals. Here we identify histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) as a regulator of leptin signalling and organismal energy balance. Global HDAC5 KO mice have increased food intake and greater diet-induced obesity when fed high-fat diet. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of HDAC5 activity in the mediobasal hypothalamus increases food intake and modulates pathways implicated in leptin signalling. We show HDAC5 directly regulates STAT3 localization and transcriptional activity via reciprocal STAT3 deacetylation at Lys685 and phosphorylation at Tyr705. In vivo, leptin sensitivity is substantially impaired in HDAC5 loss-of-function mice. Hypothalamic HDAC5 overexpression improves leptin action and partially protects against HFD-induced leptin resistance and obesity. Overall, our data suggest that hypothalamic HDAC5 activity is a regulator of leptin signalling that adapts food intake and body weight to our dietary environment.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Hypothalamus, Genetics, Nutrition, Obesity, Appetite, Leptin


Insufficient sleep is associated with obesity, yet little is known about how repeated nights of insufficient sleep influence energy expenditure and balance. We studied 16 adults in a 14- to 15-d-long inpatient study and quantified effects of 5 d of insufficient sleep, equivalent to a work week, on energy expenditure and energy intake compared with adequate sleep. We found that insufficient sleep increased total daily energy expenditure by ∼5%; however, energy intake-especially at night after dinner-was in excess of energy needed to maintain energy balance. Insufficient sleep led to 0.82 ± 0.47 kg (±SD) weight gain despite changes in hunger and satiety hormones ghrelin and leptin, and peptide YY, which signaled excess energy stores. Insufficient sleep delayed circadian melatonin phase and also led to an earlier circadian phase of wake time. Sex differences showed women, not men, maintained weight during adequate sleep, whereas insufficient sleep reduced dietary restraint and led to weight gain in women. Our findings suggest that increased food intake during insufficient sleep is a physiological adaptation to provide energy needed to sustain additional wakefulness; yet when food is easily accessible, intake surpasses that needed. We also found that transitioning from an insufficient to adequate/recovery sleep schedule decreased energy intake, especially of fats and carbohydrates, and led to -0.03 ± 0.50 kg weight loss. These findings provide evidence that sleep plays a key role in energy metabolism. Importantly, they demonstrate physiological and behavioral mechanisms by which insufficient sleep may contribute to overweight and obesity.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Obesity, Mass, Dieting, Circadian rhythm, Appetite, Melatonin


Our aim is to determine the effect of paced eating, exposure to an educational programme that promotes healthy eating habits and allowing the satiety reflex to limit food intake in controlling weight gain in healthy adolescents.

Concepts: Nutrition, Eating, Food, Malnutrition, Dieting, Appetite, Food and drink