intra-meal pauses increase calorie intake

Doug Skrecky (
Tue, 29 Sep 1998 23:42:50 -0700 (PDT)

Yeomans MR. Gray RW. Mitchell CJ. True S. Institution
Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QG, U.K.
Independent effects of palatability and within-meal pauses on intake and appetite ratings in human volunteers.
Appetite. 29(1):61-76, 1997 Aug.
The effects of the introduction of timed pauses within meals and palatability on food intake and changes in rated appetite during a meal were assessed in three experiments in which volunteers ate a lunch of pasta with a tomato sauce. Eating was monitored using a disguised electronic balance attached to a micro-computer, which also allowed the introduction of timed pauses within meals. In the first experiment, 16 subjects were tested with both a bland and palatable food (with 0.27% oregano), with eating uninterrupted or with pauses after every 50 g consumed during which appetite ratings were completed. Both the addition of oregano and the introduction of regular within-meal pauses enhanced overall intake. Rated hunger increased in the early stages of eating the palatable food in the interrupted condition, and then declined, whereas hunger declined throughout with the bland food. Similarly, the linear function relating intake to time in the uninterrupted condition was greater with the palatable food. In the second experiment, nine subjects ate the palatable food with no pauses within meals, with 30-second pauses with appetite ratings or with 30-second pauses in a non-appetite task. Intake was greater in both pause conditions than when eating was uninterrupted. In Experiment 3, the effect of pause duration was investigated in a further 16 subjects, with either no pause or a pause of 5, 30 or 60 seconds. Subjects ate more in all pause conditions than with no pauses, while ratings of hunger and fullness suggested that subjects were less satisfied at the end of the meal with longer pauses. These data confirm previous work which suggests that palatability exerts its effect by stimulating appetite and eating rate, but also suggest that the introduction of pauses within meals enhances intake as well, contradicting the idea that pausing within meals should reduce intake by allowing more time for post-ingestive satiety to develop.