Effects of meal variety on expected satiation : evidence for a 'perceived volume' heuristic

Keenan, GS ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3940-7401, Brunstrom, JM and Ferriday, D 2015, 'Effects of meal variety on expected satiation : evidence for a 'perceived volume' heuristic' , Appetite, 89 , pp. 10-15.

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Abstract

Meal variety has been shown to increase energy intake in humans by an average of 29%. Historically, research exploring the mechanism underlying this effect has focused on physiological and psychological processes that terminate a meal (e.g., sensory-specific satiety). We sought to explore whether meal variety stimulates intake by influencing pre-meal planning. We know that individuals use prior experience with a food to estimate the extent to which it will deliver fullness. These ‘expected satiation’ judgments may be straightforward when only one meal component needs to be considered, but it remains unclear how prospective satiation is estimated when a meal comprises multiple items. We hypothesised that people simplify the task by using a heuristic, or ‘cognitive shortcut.’ Specifically, as within-meal variety increases, expected satiation tends to be based on the perceived volume of food(s) rather than on prior experience. In each trial, participants (N = 68) were shown a plate of food with six buffet food items. Across trials the number of different foods varied in the range one to six. In separate tasks, the participants provided an estimate of their combined expected satiation and volume. When meal variety was high, judgments of perceived volume and expected satiation ‘converged.’ This is consistent with a common underlying response strategy. By contrast, the low variety meals produced dissociable responses, suggesting that judgments of expected satiation were not governed solely by perceived volume. This evidence for a ‘volume heuristic’ was especially clear in people who were less familiar with the meal items. Together, these results are important because they expose a novel process by which meal variety might increase food intake in humans.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Appetite
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0195-6663
Related URLs:
Depositing User: GS Keenan
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2020 12:11
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 12:15
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/57478

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