In a previous study, consuming a fixed amount of low-energy-dense salad as a first course reduced meal energy intake. We investigated whether this effect depended on serving salad before rather than with the main course, or on compulsory rather than ad libitum consumption. On five occasions, 46 women consumed ad libitum a main course of pasta, accompanied four times by low-energy-dense salad (300 g; 100 kcal [418 kJ]). At two meals the salad was served 20 min before the pasta (once compulsory; once ad libitum), and at two meals the salad was served with the pasta (once compulsory; once ad libitum). Results showed that adding a fixed amount of salad to the meal reduced energy intake by 11% (57±19 kcal [238±79 kJ]). Ad libitum salad consumption was less than compulsory consumption and did not significantly affect energy intake. Across all participants, the timing of serving the salad did not significantly influence energy intake, but the effect of timing depended on participant scores for flexible dietary restraint. Consuming low-energy-dense salad before rather than with the main course increased vegetable consumption by 23%. To moderate energy intake, maximizing the amount of salad eaten may be more important than the timing of consumption.
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