Effects of eating rate on satiety: A role for episodic memory?

Physiol Behav. 2015 Dec 1;152(Pt B):389-96. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.06.038. Epub 2015 Jul 16.


Eating slowly is associated with a lower body mass index. However, the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, our objective was to determine whether eating a meal at a slow rate improves episodic memory for the meal and promotes satiety. Participants (N=40) consumed a 400ml portion of tomato soup at either a fast (1.97ml/s) or a slow (0.50ml/s) rate. Appetite ratings were elicited at baseline and at the end of the meal (satiation). Satiety was assessed using; i) an ad libitum biscuit 'taste test' (3h after the meal) and ii) appetite ratings (collected 2h after the meal and after the ad libitum snack). Finally, to evaluate episodic memory for the meal, participants self-served the volume of soup that they believed they had consumed earlier (portion size memory) and completed a rating of memory 'vividness'. Participants who consumed the soup slowly reported a greater increase in fullness, both at the end of the meal and during the inter-meal interval. However, we found little effect of eating rate on subsequent ad libitum snack intake. Importantly, after 3h, participants who ate the soup slowly remembered eating a larger portion. These findings show that eating slowly promotes self-reported satiation and satiety. For the first time, they also suggest that eating rate influences portion size memory. However, eating slowly did not affect ratings of memory vividness and we found little evidence for a relationship between episodic memory and satiety. Therefore, we are unable to conclude that episodic memory mediates effects of eating rate on satiety.

Keywords: Eating rate; Episodic memory; Memory for recent eating; Oral processing behaviours; Satiation; Satiety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Appetite
  • Eating
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Lunch / psychology*
  • Male
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Portion Size
  • Satiation*
  • Self Report
  • Snacks / psychology
  • Thirst
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult