Liquid and solid meal replacement products differentially affect postprandial appetite and food intake in older adults

J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jul;108(7):1226-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.04.014.


Liquid and solid foods are documented to elicit differential appetitive and food intake responses. This study was designed to assess the influences of liquid vs solid meal replacement products on postprandial appetite ratings and subsequent food intake in healthy older adults. This study used a randomized and crossover design with two 1-day trials (1 week between trials), and 24 adults (12 men and 12 women) aged 50 to 80 years with body mass index (calculated as kg/m2) between 22 and 30 participated. After an overnight fast, the subjects consumed meal replacement products as either a beverage (liquid) or a bar (solid). The meal replacement products provided 25% of each subject's daily estimated energy needs with comparable macronutrient compositions. Subjects rated their appetite on a 100 mm quasilogarithmic visual analog scale before and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 150 minutes after consuming the meal replacement product. At minute 120, each subject consumed cooked oatmeal ad libitum to a "comfortable level of fullness." Postprandial composite (area under the curve from minute 15 to minute 120) hunger was higher (P=0.04) for the liquid vs solid meal replacement products and desire to eat (P=0.15), preoccupation with thoughts of food (P=0.07), and fullness (P=0.25) did not differ for the liquid vs solid meal replacement products. On average, the subjects consumed 13.4% more oatmeal after the liquid vs solid (P=0.006) meal replacement product. These results indicate that meal replacement products in liquid and solid form do not elicit comparable appetitive and ingestive behavior responses and that meal replacement products in liquid form blunt the postprandial decline in hunger and increase subsequent food intake in older adults.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Appetite / physiology*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Female
  • Food, Formulated*
  • Humans
  • Hunger / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postprandial Period
  • Satiety Response / physiology*