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Effect of calorie restriction on subjective ratings of appetite

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Abstract Background: 

Energy or calorie restriction (CR) has consistently been shown to produce weight loss and have beneficial health effects in numerous species, including primates and humans. Most individuals, however, are unable to sustain weight losses induced through reductions in energy intake, potentially due to increased hunger levels. The effects that prolonged CR has on subjective aspects of appetite have not been well studied. Thus, the present study tested the effect of 6 months of caloric restriction on appetite in healthy, overweight men and women. Methods: 

Forty-eight overweight men and women with a body mass index (BMI; kg m−2) between 25–29.9 took part in a 6-month study and were randomised into one of four groups: healthy diet (control); 25% CR; 12.5% CR plus exercise (12.5% increased energy expenditure; CR + EX); low-calorie diet [LCD; 3724 kJ day−1 (890 kcal day−1) until 15% of initial body weight was lost, then maintenance]. Appetite markers (i.e. hunger, fullness, desire to eat, etc.) were assessed weekly during a fasting state. Results: 

Body weight was significantly reduced in all three energy-restricted groups (CR = −10.4 ± 0.9%; CR + EX = −10.0 ± 0.8%; and LCD = −13.9 ±0.7%), indicating that participants were adherent to their energy restriction regimen, whereas the healthy diet control group remained weight stable (control = −1.0 ± 1.1%). Despite these significant weight losses, appetite ratings of participants in the three energy-restricted groups at month 6 were similar to the weight stable control group. Conclusions: 

CR regimens with low fat diets producing significant weight losses have similar effects on appetite markers over a 6-month time period compared to a weight stable control group.
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Keywords: appetite; caloric restriction; hunger; satiety; visual analogue scale; weight loss

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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