Obese children and adolescents need increased gastric volumes in order to perceive satiety

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Oct;22(10):2123-5. doi: 10.1002/oby.20850. Epub 2014 Jul 29.


Objective: In order to develop effective weight management strategies, it is important to identify factors that influence energy intake. Portion size has been discussed as one such factor. To date, most studies focusing on the relationship between portion size, energy intake, and weight have analyzed questionnaire data and 24-h records. In this study, we assessed the onset of satiety using the water-load test in normal-weight and obese children and adolescents.

Methods: 60 obese and 27 normal-weight children and adolescents aged between 9 and 17 years participated in the water load test which involved drinking water for 3 min or until feeling full. The amount of water consumed was recorded.

Results: Obese children and adolescents drank 20% more water until the onset of satiety when compared with normal-weight participants (478 ± 222 ml vs. 385 ± 115 ml, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Obese children and adolescents need to ingest greater volumes to feel full which may predispose toward the consumption of larger portion sizes. This may easily lead to overeating if predominantly energy-dense foods are consumed. A reduction in energy-dense foods in the diet of obese children and adolescents appears to be a necessary strategy for managing body weight.

Keywords: adolescents; children; obesity; portion size; satiety; water load.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Drinking*
  • Eating
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Satiation*
  • Stomach / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires