Daily energy balance and eating behaviour during a 14-day cold weather expedition in Greenland

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2020 Sep;45(9):968-977. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2019-0677. Epub 2020 Mar 18.


We assessed energy compensation, appetite, and reward value of foods during a 14-day military expedition in Greenland realized by 12 male French soldiers, during which energy compensation was optimized by providing them with easy-to-eat palatable foods in excess. Although daily energy expenditure (estimated by accelerometry) stayed relatively constant throughout the expedition (15 ± 9 MJ·day-1), energy intake (EI; estimated by self-reported diaries) was 17% higher during the D8-D14 period compared with the D1-D7 period, leading to a neutral energy balance (EB). Body fat mass (BFM) significantly decreased (-1.0 ± 0.7 kg, p < 0.001) but not body mass (BM). Neither hunger scores (assessed by visual analog scales) nor components of the reward value of food (explicit liking (EL) and food preference) were significantly altered. However, changes in EL at D10 were positively correlated with changes in BM (r = 0.600, p < 0.05) and BFM (r = 0.680, p < 0.05) and changes in hunger in the EI of the relevant period (r = 0.743, p < 0.01 for D1-D7, r = 0.652, p < 0.05 for D8-14). This study shows that the negative EB and BM loss can be attenuated by an appropriate food supply and that subjective components of eating behaviour, such as hunger and EL, may be useful to predict the magnitude of energy compensation. Novelty Energy intake increases during of a 14-day expedition in the cold. Energy compensation was likely facilitated by providing participants with easy-to-eat palatable and familiar foods. Hunger scores and EL for energy-dense foods were associated with high EIs and low BM changes.

Keywords: FPQ-S16; arctic; arctique; dépense énergétique; energy expenditure; energy intake; explicit liking; food preferences; militaires; military; prise énergétique; préférences alimentaires; raid; rations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Expeditions
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Food Preferences
  • Greenland
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel