Aspartame: effect on lunch-time food intake, appetite and hedonic response in children

Appetite. 1989 Oct;13(2):93-103. doi: 10.1016/0195-6663(89)90107-4.


Two experiments were conducted, each with 20 healthy 9-10-year-old children. After an overnight fast, subjects were given a standardized breakfast at 0830 hrs, the treatments at 1030 hrs, and a lunch containing an excess of foods at 1200 hrs. Visual analog scales of hunger, fullness, and desire to eat were administered 5 min before and 20 and 85 min after treatment. Lunch-time food intake was measured. In experiment 1, either aspartame (34 mg/kg), or the equivalent sweetness of sodium cyclamate, was given in an ice slurry (300 ml) of unsweetened strawberry Kool-Aid with carbohydrate (1.75 g/kg polycose). In experiment 2, drinks (300 ml) contained either sucrose (1.75 g/kg) or aspartame (9.7 mg/kg). In both experiments, significant meal- and time-dependent effects were observed for subjective feelings of hunger, fullness and desire to eat. Treatments, however, did not affect either subjective feelings of appetite or lunch-time food intake. Thus, aspartame consumed without or with carbohydrate, did not affect either hunger or food intake of children when compared with the sweeteners sodium cyclamate and sucrose, respectively.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Appetite / drug effects*
  • Aspartame / pharmacology*
  • Beverages
  • Child
  • Cyclamates / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dipeptides / pharmacology*
  • Eating / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences
  • Humans
  • Hunger / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Sucrose / pharmacology


  • Cyclamates
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dipeptides
  • Sucrose
  • Aspartame