A study conducted by ConAgra Foods shows that eating a filling but calorie-controlled snack, such as Orville Redenbacher's 94% Fat-free SmartPop! popcorn, will leave consumers feeling fuller and less hungry than snacking on the same caloric amount of milk chocolate.


ConAgra Foods announced new research that shows eating a filling but calorie-controlled snack, such as Orville Redenbacher's 94% Fat-free SmartPop! popcorn, will leave consumers feeling fuller and less hungry than snacking on the same caloric amount of milk chocolate.

The study, which was conducted by the Omaha, Neb.-based ingredient supplier’s research team, found that participants who ate a 100-calorie portion of Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! popcorn versus two nuggets of milk chocolate (also 100 calories) were significantly less hungry and more full, had less desire for a second snack and were more satisfied with the amount of food after eating the popcorn.

"We know that feeling hungry is a barrier to weight loss. Our findings show that low-fat popcorn is a smart snack choice for managing weight because it helps people feel less hungry and more satisfied. SmartPop! popcorn also has the benefit of being 100% whole grain and an excellent source of fiber," said Kristin Reimers, nutrition manager for ConAgra Foods, owner of the SmartPop! brand.

There were 49 female participants in the study, aged 20 to 50 years old, with a BMI [body mass index] between 18 and 25 (normal weight). All participants followed the same consumption protocol in a controlled testing facility.

After an overnight fast, the participants arrived at the testing facility, ate a controlled breakfast and then ate a snack 3.5 hours after breakfast. Participants' fullness levels were approximately 40% higher 30 minutes after snacking on popcorn versus after eating chocolate.

The popcorn versus chocolate study is part of ongoing research showing that low-fat popcorn is a smart snack choice for weight management. In April 2009, a similar study found that subjects who ate up to six cups of low-fat popcorn (100 calories) 30 minutes before lunch consumed the same amount of total calories from the popcorn snack and a subsequent meal, as those who consumed only water before the meal. In contrast, when subjects ate a cup of potato chips (150 calories) before the meal, they ate significantly more total calories including the meal. In other words, eating a popcorn snack before a meal curbed hunger without increasing total caloric intake.

Both studies used Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! popcorn, which is 100% whole grain, 94% fat-free and come in either full-sized or 100-calorie bags. SmartPop! popcorn contains 0 g. of trans fat and 0 mL of cholesterol.