This study assessed whether afternoon snacks, varying in protein content, influence appetite-control and eating initiation. Fifteen healthy women (age: 26 ± 2 y) randomly consumed 160 kcal afternoon yogurt snacks containing Low (LP), Moderate (MP), or High (HP) protein (5,14,24 g protein, respectively) or had no snack (NS) for 3 days. On day 4, the volunteers came to our facility to consume a standardized lunch. The respective snack pattern was completed 3h post-lunch. Perceived sensations were measured every 30 min until dinner was voluntarily requested. An ad libitum dinner was then provided. Snacking, regardless of protein content, led to reduced hunger and increased fullness, which were sustained up to 120 min post-snack vs. NS (all, p<0.05). Between snacks, hunger was lower and fullness was higher throughout post-snack following HP vs. LP (p<0.05). Snacking delayed the onset of eating vs. NS (all, p<0.05). Specifically, dinner was requested at 124 ± 7 min following NS, 152 ± 7 min with LP, 158 ± 7 min following MP, and 178 ± 7 min post-snack for HP. Between snacks, HP led to the latest request time vs. LP (p<0.001) and MP (p<0.05). Although the energy content consumed at dinner was lower following the yogurt snacks vs. NS, the 160 kcal snacks were not fully compensated for at this meal. In conclusion, an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt, containing 24 g protein, led to reduced hunger, increased fullness, and delayed subsequent eating compared to lower protein snacks in healthy women.
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