Sensory-based nutrition pilot intervention for women

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Jan;114(1):99-106. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.06.354. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Negative effects of restrained eating (ie, concerns about dieting and weight control) have been observed in eating behaviors. Such findings underscore the need to develop more positive approaches to promote healthy eating behaviors. The objectives of this pilot randomized controlled trial were to investigate and determine whether sensory-based intervention influenced eating-related attitudes and behaviors among restrained women, as well as reliance on physical signals for hunger and satiety. Between January and September 2011, data were collected using validated questionnaires (Restraint Scale, Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire, Mindful Eating Questionnaire, and Intuitive Eating Scale) at baseline (T=1), the end of the intervention period (T=2), and 12 weeks post intervention (T=3). At T=1, women (n=50) from Quebec City, Canada, were randomly assigned to an intervention group (sensory-based intervention) or a waiting list control group. Statistical analyses were conducted using mixed models, including the group, time, and group-by-time interaction. Women from the intervention group showed a significant decrease in Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire-Disinhibition and a significant increase in Mindful Eating Questionnaire-Disinhibition at T=2 vs T=3 (P=0.02 and P=0.02, respectively) and at T=3 vs T=1 (P=0.003 and P=0.002, respectively). Women from the intervention group also showed a significant increase in Intuitive Eating Scale-Unconditional Permission to Eat at T=2 vs T=1 (P<0.0001) and at T=3 vs T=1 (P<0.0001). These preliminary data suggest that sensory-based intervention can be a promising approach to improve eating-related attitudes and behaviors among restrained women, without exacerbating other behaviors such as restrained eating.

Keywords: Disinhibition; Eating behavior; Food tasting; Restrained eating; Sensory perception.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfactory Perception / physiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quebec
  • Satiation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taste Perception / physiology*