Short-term hunger intensity changes following ingestion of a meal replacement bar for weight control

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2004 May;55(3):223-6. doi: 10.1080/09637480410001734111.


Meal replacement products for weight loss are popular and safe for most unsupervised consumers desiring to lose weight. Previously we reported that the thickness of meal replacement diet shakes had a direct and significant effect on hunger intensity during the first 2 h and that hunger intensity scores for liquid meal replacements were significantly below baseline for 3 h following consumption (Mattes & Rothacker, 2001) This study uses the same protocol to investigate meal replacement bars designed for overweight consumers. Subjects were prescreened to include only those that normally ate breakfast and liked chocolate. The bar used in this study contained 250 calories (about 30 more than most liquid diet shakes), 4 g dietary fiber, 14 g protein and 8 g fat. Subjects were instructed to consume the entire bar with a glass of water following an overnight fast when they would normally consume their first meal of the day and to assess their hunger on a 1 (not hungry at all) to 9 (as hungry as I have ever felt) scale before consumption, immediately after and hourly for 6 h (only on typical weekdays). Similar assessments were made for the perception of stomach fullness (1=empty, 9=extremely full), strength of the desire to eat (1=no desire, 9=extremely strong) and thirst (1=not at all thirsty, 9=extremely thirsty). One-hundred and eight subjects (23 male and 85 female) completed the study. No gender satiety differences were found. Hunger ratings and desire to eat remained significantly below baseline for 5 h following consumption. Stomach fullness scores were significantly above baseline for 5 h. Thirst scores were significantly below baseline for 3 h. In conclusion, although the meal replacement diet bars contained only 30 additional calories than liquids, they provided an additional 2 h of hunger suppression from baseline that may have an impact on overall weightloss success. These results support superior short-term hunger control with solid meal replacements.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Satiation
  • Thirst
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss