Sensory-specific satiety with simple foods in humans: no influence of BMI?

Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Jun;31(6):987-95. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803504. Epub 2006 Dec 12.


Objective: Olfacto-gustatory sensory-specific satiety plays an important role in the termination of food ingestion. A defect in this mechanism, by increasing food intake, could be a factor in development of overweight. The present study was conducted to explore whether sensory-specific satiety in the overweight may be different from that in normal-weight subjects.

Subjects: 144 subjects (half men, half women; age range: 17-62 years; BMI range: 17-39 kg m(-2)).

Measurements: Olfactory pleasure (OP) and flavor pleasure (FP) were evaluated before and after ingestion of a single chosen food. Six foods from three classes were offered: cucumber and tomato, pineapple and banana, and peanut and pistachio. According to the subjects' preference for one of them, subjects were classified into six groups (24 subjects each with equal sex ratio). The experimental sequence was (1) evaluation of the six foods (OP), (2) ad libitum intake of the preferred food (FP) and (3) second evaluation of the six foods (OP).

Results: Food intake was limited by sensory-specific satiety (that is, a decline in FP for the ingested food) in overweight subjects just as it was in the leanest. There was no significant correlation between BMI and hedonic parameters (OP and FP) or intakes (quantity and volume). Pre-ingestive OP and FP correlated with the ingested food's weight (OP: r=0.468; FP: r=0.415; P<0.01), volume (OP: r=0.428; FP: r=0.407; P<0.01) and intake duration (OP: r=0.184; FP: r=0.343; P<0.05). The decline in OP, but not in FP, correlated with ingested weight (r=0.271, P<0.01) and volume (r=0.263, P<0.01) but not with duration.

Conclusion: After intake of a single food, olfacto-gustatory sensory-specific satiety correlated with the ingested food's weight and volume and with the duration of ingestion, but not with bodyweight. This suggests that overweight and lean subjects have similar hedonic control of food intake with simple foods.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Appetite Regulation / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Eating / physiology
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / physiology*
  • Satiety Response / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Smell / physiology
  • Taste / physiology