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Effects of the menopausal transition on dietary intake and appetite: a MONET Group Study



The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in dietary intake and appetite across the menopausal transition.


This was a 5-year observational, longitudinal study on the menopausal transition. The study included 94 premenopausal women at baseline (age: 49.9±1.9 years; BMI: 23.3±2.3 kg/m2). Body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), appetite (visual analogue scale), eating frequency, energy intake (EI) and macronutrient composition (7-day food diary and buffet-type meal) were measured annually.


Repeated-measures analyses revealed that total EI and carbohydrate intake from food diary decreased significantly over time in women who became postmenopausal by year 5 (P>0.05) compared with women in the menopausal transition. In women who became postmenopausal by year 5, fat and protein intakes decreased across the menopausal transition (0.05>P<0.01). Although a decrease in % fat intake was observed during the menopausal transition (P<0.05), this variable was significantly increased in the postmenopausal years (P<0.05). Spontaneous EI and protein intake also declined over time and were higher in the years preceding menopause onset (P<0.05). Desire to eat, hunger and prospective food consumption increased during the menopausal transition and remained at this higher level in the postmenopausal years (0.05>P<0.001). Fasting fullness decreased across the menopausal transition (P<0.05).


These results suggest that menopausal transition is accompanied with a decrease in food intake and an increase in appetite.

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We thank the participants for their devoted participation and to the staff of Behavioural and Metabolic Research Unit (BMRU) for their contribution to this study. We especially want to thank Ann Beninato for her significant role in the collection of the data and overall study coordination. This study was supported by CIHR (Canadian Institute for Health Research) grants: 63279 MONET study (Montreal Ottawa New Emerging Team). K Duval is a recipient of the FRSQ (Fonds de la recherche en Santé du Québec) Doctoral support program. R Rabasa-Lhoret is a recipient of the FRSQ clinical researcher scholarship and holds the J-A DeSève chair.

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Correspondence to É Doucet.

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Duval, K., Prud'homme, D., Rabasa-Lhoret, R. et al. Effects of the menopausal transition on dietary intake and appetite: a MONET Group Study. Eur J Clin Nutr 68, 271–276 (2014).

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  • energy balance
  • energy intake
  • eating frequency
  • appetite
  • menopausal transition
  • body composition

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