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.
BACKGROUND: A number of studies have shown that bite and sip sizes influence the amount of food intake. Consuming with small sips instead of large sips means relatively more sips for the same amount of food to be consumed; people may believe that intake is higher which leads to faster satiation. This effect may be disturbed when people are distracted. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study is to assess the effects of sip size in a focused state and a distracted state on ad libitum intake and on the estimated amount consumed. DESIGN: In this 3×2 cross-over design, 53 healthy subjects consumed ad libitum soup with small sips (5 g, 60 g/min), large sips (15 g, 60 g/min), and free sips (where sip size was determined by subjects themselves), in both a distracted and focused state. Sips were administered via a pump. There were no visual cues toward consumption. Subjects then estimated how much they had consumed by filling soup in soup bowls. RESULTS: Intake in the small-sip condition was ∼30% lower than in both the large-sip and free-sip conditions (P<0.001). In addition, subjects underestimated how much they had consumed in the large-sip and free-sip conditions (P<0.03). Distraction led to a general increase in food intake (P = 0.003), independent of sip size. Distraction did not influence sip size or estimations. CONCLUSIONS: Consumption with large sips led to higher food intake, as expected. Large sips, that were either fixed or chosen by subjects themselves led to underestimations of the amount consumed. This may be a risk factor for over-consumption. Reducing sip or bite sizes may successfully lower food intake, even in a distracted state.
The U.S. wastes 31 to 40% of its post-harvest food supply, with a substantial portion of this waste occurring at the consumer level. Globally, interventions to address wasted food have proliferated, but efforts are in their infancy in the U.S. To inform these efforts and provide baseline data to track change, we performed a survey of U.S. consumer awareness, attitudes and behaviors related to wasted food. The survey was administered online to members of a nationally representative panel (N=1010), and post-survey weights were applied. The survey found widespread (self-reported) awareness of wasted food as an issue, efforts to reduce it, and knowledge about how to do so, plus moderately frequent performance of waste-reducing behaviors. Three-quarters of respondents said they discard less food than the average American. The leading motivations for waste reduction were saving money and setting an example for children, with environmental concerns ranked last. The most common reasons given for discarding food were concern about foodborne illness and a desire to eat only the freshest food. In some cases there were modest differences based on age, parental status, and income, but no differences were found by race, education, rural/urban residence or other demographic factors. Respondents recommended ways retailers and restaurants could help reduce waste. This is the first nationally representative consumer survey focused on wasted food in the U.S. It provides insight into U.S. consumers' perceptions related to wasted food, and comparisons to existing literature. The findings suggest approaches including recognizing that many consumers perceive themselves as being already-knowledgeable and engaged, framing messages to focus on budgets, and modifying existing messages about food freshness and aesthetics. This research also suggests opportunities to shift retail and restaurant practice, and identifies critical research gaps.
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.
The amount of time spent on food preparation and cooking may have implications for diet quality and health. However, little is known about how food-related time use relates to food consumption and spending, either at restaurants or for food consumed at home.
Decreasing dietary sodium intake, which can be achieved by reducing salt content in food, is recommended. Salt contributes to the taste of foods and makes them more enjoyable. Whether a food is liked or disliked is an important determinant of food intake, especially among children. However, the role of salt in children’s food acceptance has received little attention. The impact of salt content on children’s hedonic rating and intake of two foods was investigated in children. Using a within-subject crossover design, we recruited 75 children (8-11 years) to participate in five lunches in their school cafeteria. The target foods were green beans and pasta. The added salt content was 0, 0.6 or 1.2 g/100 g. The children’s intake (g) of all lunch items was measured. The children provided their hedonic rating of the food, a preference ranking and a saltiness ranking in the laboratory. Children could rank the foods according to salt content, and they preferred the two saltier options. A food-specific effect of salt content on intake was observed. Compared to the intermediate level (0.6 g salt/100 g), not adding salt decreased green bean intake (-21%; p = 0.002), and increasing the salt content increased pasta intake (+24%; p<0.0001). Structural Equation Modeling was used to model the relative weights of the determinants of intake. It showed that the primary driver of food intake was the child's hunger; the second most important factor was the child's hedonic rating of the food, regardless of its salt content, and the last factor was the child's preference for the particular salt content of the food. In conclusion, salt content has a positive and food-specific effect on intake; it impacted food preferences and intake differently in children. Taking into account children's preferences for salt instead of their intake may lead to excessive added salt.
There are currently no national standards for school lunch period length and little is known about the association between the amount of time students have to eat and school food selection and consumption.
Do people believe that sharing food might involve sharing more than just food? To investigate this, participants were asked to rate how jealous they (Study 1)–or their best friend (Study 2)–would be if their current romantic partner were contacted by an ex-romantic partner and subsequently engaged in an array of food- and drink-based activities. We consistently find–across both men and women–that meals elicit more jealousy than face-to-face interactions that do not involve eating, such as having coffee. These findings suggest that people generally presume that sharing a meal enhances cooperation. In the context of romantic pairs, we find that participants are attuned to relationship risks that extra-pair commensality can present. For romantic partners left out of a meal, we find a common view that lunch, for example, is not “just lunch.”
Sustainability and going green have become popular trends among foodservice organizations. Despite this interest, foodservice operations still produce large amounts of edible food waste and contribute significantly to waste management problems.
The aims of this review paper are to provide an overview of the association of sodium intake with cardiovascular health, to identify sodium in our global food supply and to describe problems associated with assessment of dietary sodium intake. Excess sodium intake may contribute to the development of hypertension in some individuals, consequently increasing CVD risk. The average intake of sodium in populations around the world far exceeds the actual body’s needs. Processed and restaurant foods contribute the most dietary sodium for Americans and other populations worldwide. There is a worldwide focus on reducing sodium content of food products in an effort to reduce health related issues associated with excessive salt and sodium intake in individuals. In several countries, regulations have been introduced to lower the sodium content of foods. Manufacturers are complying with these regulations by formulating new products to meet these standards. However, the variability in food sodium content poses challenges to researchers to accurately assess dietary sodium intakes of individuals. There are differences in sodium content of foods in databases compared with nutritional information provided by manufacturers for the same food products. Variations also exist in restaurant foods, where values differ from those available on restaurant websites. Sodium may be either underestimated or overestimated; it is not always on target. Awareness of the variability among food products is crucial but capturing sodium content of every food in the market is not feasible. Whenever possible, updating databases is critical. In conclusion, it is not feasible to capture the sodium content of every food in the marketplace but being aware of these differences is essential to assessing actual sodium consumption. Since biological determinations are burdensome and impractical, it is imperative for researchers and other health professionals to participate in the development and implementation of tools to accurately assess sodium intake in individuals.