Background & aims
Eating rate has gained the attention of scientific research due to its potential association with obesity and its co-morbidities, though evidence of its effects on satiety is limited. This study aimed to assess if eating rate affects postprandial satiety, in seven healthy and seven overweight/obese subjects.
Participants were randomised to a 2-way crossover study of two controlled eating rates. Following anthropometric measurements, isocaloric meals were consumed at a slow and fast eating rate. Perceived satiety was measured at regular intervals using visual analogue scales.
The overweight group consumed the fast eating rate meal significantly faster (5 ± 0.8 min) than the healthy weight group (8.3 ± 0.4 min, p = 0.004). Total area under curve from visual analogue scale showed a trend towards lower perceived fullness after the fast eating rate compared to slow rate (p = 0.08) in all participants. Significant correlations were observed between eating time and body mass index (p = 0.005), visceral fat score (p = 0.0003) and trunk fat percentage (p = 0.023) on the fast-rate protocol.
The overweight fast eating rate group consumed the meal at a faster eating rate than the healthy weight fast eating rate group and the trend towards reduced perceived fullness when eating at a fast eating rate may, in part, contribute to increased food intake in overweight individuals. The correlations between eating time and body composition suggest faster eating rate is associated with a greater risk of higher BMI, visceral fat score and trunk fat percentage, making this the first laboratory study to make these observations.