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Science Says Foods That ‘Keep You Fuller for Longer’ Don’t Actually Work

New research from the University of Sheffield has found that there’s no relationship between how hungry we say we feel and the amount of calories we consume.

If your flatmates are inhaling Frosties while you savour a steaming bowl of oaty porridge, you're allowed to feel smug over the fact that come 11 AM, you won't be the one reaching for the biscuit tin. But science is here to take that slow-release energy wind right out of your sails.

Because even if you think you feel full, you'll probably just eat more later, anyway.

According to new research from the University of Sheffield, published earlier this week in the Food Science and Nutrition journal, there's no link between how hungry you say you feel and how many calories you consume.


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So, basically, no matter how much you believe that that £7 goddess chia bar with activated cashew peelings and moon juice really is keeping you fuller for longer, it won't change how much you go on to eat later in the day.

The researchers analysed 462 scientific studies that explored the modification of appetite where hunger levels were self-reported by participants, to see if hunger was actually a reliable predictor of calorie consumption.

They found that "appetite scores failed to correspond with energy intake in 51.3 percent of the total studies" and "only six percent of all studies evaluated here reported a direct statistical comparison between appetite scores and energy intake." The research concluded that "caution should be exercised when drawing conclusions based from self-reported appetite scores in relation to prospective energy intake."

Dr. Bernard Corfe, molecular pharmacologist and lead author of the study, explained to MUNCHIES the implications of the findings on products marketed as containing appetite-reducing properties.

He said: "I think that appetite is the wrong thing to target when aiming at weight loss or weight management, but researchers need to address that just as much, if not more, than the food industry."

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He added: "The factors that drive calorie consumption are many-fold and include energy expenditure; the sensorial environment is potent with visual and olfactory triggers especially so; entrained behaviours like mealtimes or snacking; and so on. Appetite is a part of that equation, but our work suggests it may not be the most important part, not by a long way."

You may as well have that bowl of Frosties, after all.