Room for dessert! A series of studies on sensory satiation and food variety

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Why do people always seem to have room for dessert? For many of us the following situation is all too familiar: you just finished your meal and feel full, but as soon as dessert arrives, you cannot resist eating it. Why? In earlier research, two phenomena were identified that explain why people always seem to have room for dessert: a mechanism called ‘sensory satiation’ – getting bored with the same flavour – and the related ‘variety effect’ – bigger appetite with a bigger variety in foods. In this dissertation, these two phenomena were scrutinized in a series of experiments, investigating how sensory satiation and the variety effect can be influenced and what role they play in how much and what food is eaten. The results of this research suggest that their role in eating behaviour is substantial and that variety and sensory satiation can be used to stimulate healthy eating.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Havermans, Remco, Supervisor
  • Bast, Aalt, Supervisor
  • Nederkoorn, Sjaan, Supervisor
Award date22 Apr 2022
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464581096
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • eating behaviour
  • sensory-specific satiation
  • food variety
  • food choice

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