Does labelling a food as 'light' vs. 'filling' influence intake and sensory-specific satiation?

Anouk E M Hendriks-Hartensveld*, Barbara J Rolls, Paige M Cunningham, Chantal Nederkoorn, Remco C Havermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Although several studies have investigated the influence of nutrition labelling on food intake, the effect of labels indicating a food's satiating power on food intake and sensory-specific satiation (SSS) is poorly understood. We investigated whether providing information about the satiating power of a meal affects intake and SSS. Participants (19 men and 18 women) consumed the same test meal of pasta salad ad libitum on two occasions, once described as 'light' and once as 'filling'. SSS was determined as the change in liking of the flavor and desire to eat the test meal before and after consumption, compared to seven uneaten foods. As hypothesized, intake increased by a mean (±SD) of 31 ± 59 g and 42 ± 81 kcal when the meal was labelled 'light' as opposed to 'filling' (p < 0.01). After eating, ratings for both liking and desire to eat decreased significantly more for the test meal than for the uneaten control foods (p < 0.001), demonstrating SSS. These relative changes in liking and desire to eat did not differ between the label conditions, despite differences in intake. Furthermore, accounting for amount consumed, the magnitude of SSS did not differ between the label conditions, which suggests that it did not explain the effect of the labels on intake. This study shows that labels indicating the satiating power of a meal can affect intake, warranting caution in the use of such labels on products intended to reduce intake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105916
JournalAppetite
Volume171
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

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