The influence of energy density on satiation

E. A. Bell, V. A. Castellanos, C. L. Pelkman, M. L. Thorwart, B. J. Rolls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The overconsumption of food, and thus kilocalories, may be related to the energy density (kilocalories per gram) and not just the macronutrient content and palatability of foods. The goal of this research was to determine the effect of energy density on satiation (the processes involved in the termination of a meal). In a within-subjects design, lean females (n=12) were provided with meals varying in energy density, yet equivalent in macronutrient composition, for three two-day test periods. During lunch, dinner and evening snack, subjects were given free access to a main entree varying in energy density. Low-energy compulsory side dishes accompanied each meal. Average energy density values of the meals were low (1.00 kcal/g), medium (1.15 kcal/g) and high (1.34 kcal/g). Subjects also consumed a standard, compulsory breakfast. Palatability and perceived energy content of the manipulated entrees were not statistically different. Thus, the effect of energy density on satiation was dissociated from macronutrient content and palatability. The average daily weight of food consumed did not differ significantly across the low (1527.8g), medium (1440.0g) and high (1433.1g) conditions of energy density. However, more energy was consumed in the high-energy density condition (1934.3 kcal) than in the medium (1663.0 kcal) and low (1521.7 kcal) conditions (p<.0029). There were no differences in either hunger or fullness before or after meals or across the two test days. These results clearly indicate that energy density can affect satiation and suggest that diets of low energy density may be useful in reducing energy intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A358
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of energy density on satiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this