Sweetness, satiation, and satiety

J Nutr. 2012 Jun;142(6):1149S-54S. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.149583. Epub 2012 May 9.


Satiation and satiety are central concepts in the understanding of appetite control and both have to do with the inhibition of eating. Satiation occurs during an eating episode and brings it to an end. Satiety starts after the end of eating and prevents further eating before the return of hunger. Enhancing satiation and satiety derived from foodstuffs was perceived as a means to facilitate weight control. Many studies have examined the various sensory, cognitive, postingestive, and postabsorptive factors that can potentially contribute to the inhibition of eating. In such studies, careful attention to study design is crucial for correct interpretation of the results. Although sweetness is a potent sensory stimulus of intake, sweet-tasting products produce satiation and satiety as a result of their volume as well as their nutrient and energy content. The particular case of energy intake from fluids has generated much research and it is still debated whether energy from fluids is as satiating as energy ingested from solid foods. This review discusses the satiating power of foods and drinks containing nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners. The brain mechanisms of food reward (in terms of "liking" and "wanting") are also addressed. Finally, we highlight the importance of reward homeostasis, which can help prevent eating in the absence of hunger, for the control of intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Beverages
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Satiety Response / drug effects*
  • Satiety Response / physiology*
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology*


  • Sweetening Agents