Energy density at a buffet-style lunch differs for adolescents born at high and low risk of obesity

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 19104, United States.
Eating behaviors 12/2009; 10(4):209-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.07.003
Source: PubMed


The energy density (ED; kcal/g) of foods, when manipulated in the laboratory, affects short-term energy intake. The aim of this study was to examine if, when given a choice, dietary ED (foods only) and energy intake (expressed as a percentage of subjects' estimated daily energy requirement; EER) at a self-selected, single meal differ for teens born with a different familial predisposition to obesity and as a function of their sex. Subjects (13 males, 17 females) were 12years of age and born at high risk (HR; n=15) or low risk (LR; n=15) for obesity based on maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI; kg/m(2)). The buffet meal, served for lunch and consumed ad libitum, consisted of a variety of foods and beverages with a range in ED. HR subjects consumed a more energy-dense meal (foods only) than LR subjects (1.84 vs. 1.42kcal/g; P=0.02) and males consumed a more energy-dense meal than females (1.83 vs. 1.43kcal/g; P=0.03). Total energy intake, when expressed as a percentage of subjects' daily EER, did not differ between HR and LR subjects (42% vs. 33%; P=0.16). Males, compared to females, consumed ~59% more energy from foods and beverages during the meal (46 vs. 29%; P=0.008). During a single multi-item lunch meal, teens with a familial predisposition to obesity and males, independent of their obesity risk status, self-selected a more energy-dense meal. Familial risk for obesity, through either genetic or environmental pathways, may facilitate a more energy-dense diet.

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    • "In addition, the majority of research works based on buffet-type meal designs use cold buffets. When food is served hot, there is no mention of the equipment used to maintain the food temperature constant throughout the experiment (Kral et al., 2009). This could present a bias in the choice order of these items during the meal. "
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