Egg Nutrition Center Blog

Setting Standards for the Science of Satiety

It’s well known that around the world, obesity rates are higher than they were in previous decades. 

The pharmaceutical, fitness, food, and supplement industries have responded, commercializing a number of products and services to support weight loss efforts.  Satiety, in particular, has been a target across all of these industries.  Hunger and preoccupations with food are often cited as barriers to maintaining a weight loss diet.  Given the potential for satiety to favorably affect obesity, several regulatory agencies and scientific organizations have established guidelines and position statements to standardize the study and communication of satiety enhancement.

One of the first groups to proactively address satiety was the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Europe.  In 2008, they formed the Eating Behaviour and Energy Balance Task Force, a group of scientific experts charged with generating “a wider understanding of satiety benefits and claims and the appropriate methods for their substantiation”.  The efforts of the Task Force have resulted in five publications, including recommendations on standardized satiety methodology, consumer interpretation of satiety benefits, and biomarkers of appetite regulation.1-5

Most recently, the Task Force published proceedings of a one-day workshop held November 27, 2012 in Brussels, Belgium.5  One of the key outputs from the meeting was the recognition that there is a need for more longer-term studies on the efficacy of satiety enhancement for weight loss.  To date, the over-whelming majority of satiety studies have been in an acute setting, usually only over a few hours.  It is not known whether all satiety-enhancing foods/beverages will sustain their benefit over longer periods of time.

Another key output was agreement among the experts that the benefits of satiety extend beyond just weight loss.  For example, cognitive performance has been shown to be tightly associated with feelings of hunger and satiety in both children and adults.  Similar findings have been reported for mood.

Clearly, this is an area that continues to evolve and has the potential to benefit many.  The Egg Nutrition Center has invested in this area for several years given the satiating properties of eggs.6-8  The majority of the research suggests that higher protein meals tend to be more satiating than high carbohydrate meals, particularly when the protein is consumed at the breakfast meal.  These data corroborate findings of other studies, which have been conducted over the course of a day, a few days and, in some cases, for several weeks.

1Bilman EM, Kleef Ev, Mela DJ, et al. Consumer understanding, interpretation and perceived levels of personal responsibility in relation to satiety-related claims. Appetite. 2012;59:912-20.
2Blundell J, de Graaf C, Hulshof T, et al. Appetite control: methodological aspects of the evaluation of foods. Obes Rev. 2010;11:251-70.
3Delzenne N, Blundell J, Brouns F, et al. Gastrointestinal targets of appetite regulation in humans.Obes Rev. 2010;11:234-50.
4Hetherington MM, Cunningham K, Dye L, et al. Potential benefits of satiety to the consumer: scientific considerations. Nutr Res Rev. 2013;26:22-38.
5Griffioen-Roose S, Wanders A, Banati D. Satiety and appetite control claims: Getting it right for consumers. Nutr Bull. 2013;38:373-77.
6Vander Wal JS, Marth JM, Khosla P, et al. Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005;24:510-5.
7Leidy HJ, Ortinau LC, Douglas SM, Hoertel HA. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97:677-88.
8Ratliff J, Leite JO, de Ogburn R, et al. Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Nutr Res. 2010;30:96-103.

Author: Tia Rains, Ph.D.