Original Article | Published:

Clinical Studies and Practice

Beyond expectations: the physiological basis of sensory enhancement of satiety

International Journal of Obesity volume 40, pages 16931698 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Background/Objectives:

Consumption of high-energy beverages has been implicated as a risk factor for weight gain, yet why nutrients ingested as beverages fail to generate adequate satiety remains unclear. In general, consumers do not expect drinks to be satiating, but drinks generate greater satiety when their sensory characteristics imply they may be filling. These findings challenge traditional bottom-up models of how gut-based satiety signals modify behaviour to suggest that beliefs at the point of ingestion modify gut-based satiety signalling.

Subjects/Methods:

Healthy volunteers (n=23) consumed four different beverages, combining an overt sensory manipulation (thin, low sensory (LS) or thicker and more creamy, enhanced sensory (ES)) and covert nutrient manipulation (low energy (LE), 78 kcal; high energy (HE), 267 kcal) on different days. Effects on satiety were assessed through rated appetite and levels of glucose, insulin, pancreatic polypeptide (PP) and cholesystokinin (CCK) recorded periodically over 90 min, and through intake at an ad libitum test lunch.

Results:

Intake at the test lunch and rated appetite were both altered by both the sensory and nutrient manipulations, with lowest intake and greatest suppression of hunger post-drink in the ESHE condition. Insulin increased more after HE than LE drinks, and after ES than LS drinks, whereas PP levels were higher after ES than LS versions. CCK levels only increased after the ESHE drink.

Conclusions:

These data confirm acute sensitivity of satiety after consuming a drink both to the sensory characteristics and nutrient content of the drink, and suggest that this may be, at least in part, due to top-down modulation of release of satiety-related gut hormones.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

    • M R Yeomans
    •  & L Chambers
  2. World Sugar Research Organisation, Reading, UK

    • R Re
  3. Nutrition Research, Leatherhead Food Research, Leatherhead, UK

    • M Wickham
    •  & H Lundholm
  4. British Nutrition Foundation, London, UK

    • L Chambers

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Competing interests

This study was conducted as part of research grant BB/H004645/1 from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the DRINC initiative. The authors declare no conflict of interest relating to the outcomes of the reported study.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M R Yeomans.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2016.112