Objective: To compare the effect of dark and milk chocolate on appetite sensations and energy intake at an ad libitum test meal in healthy, normal-weight men.
Subjects/methods: A total of 16 young, healthy, normal-weight men participated in a randomized, crossover study. Test meals were 100 g of either milk (2285 kJ) or dark chocolate (2502 kJ). Visual-analogue scales were used to record appetite sensations before and after the test meal was consumed and subsequently every 30 min for 5 h. An ad libitum meal was served 2 h after the test meal had been consumed.
Results: The participants felt more satiated, less hungry, and had lower ratings of prospective food consumption after consumption of the dark chocolate than after the milk chocolate. Ratings of the desire to eat something sweet, fatty or savoury were all lower after consumption of the dark chocolate. Energy intake at the ad libitum meal was 17% lower after consumption of the dark chocolate than after the milk chocolate (P=0.002). If the energy provided by the chocolate is included in the calculation, the energy intake after consumption of the dark chocolate was still 8% lower than after the milk chocolate (P=0.01). The dark chocolate load resulted in an overall energy difference of -584 kJ (95% confidence interval (-1027;-141)) during the test period.
Conclusion: In the present study, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet, and suppresses energy intake compared with milk chocolate.