June 1, 2006
Variety is the spice of life, but it might make you fatter. A European study suggests that demand for variety and new flavors may cause consumers to overeat. A French and German research team tested sensory-specific-satiety (SSS) — defined as a decrease in the feeling of pleasure sparked by a specific food when consumed — in 180 volunteers. The volunteers ate a product followed by a different product, and then again ate the first, which had been spiced up with new seasonings. Researchers concluded that the first product renewed SSS levels, encouraging the subject to eat more of it. The study, published in Physiology and Behavior, suggests that monotonous meals might reduce food intake, leading to weight loss, while variety is linked to increased consumption.
Participants in a U.S. Department of Agriculture study ate whey protein, soy and carbohydrate supplements to investigate their effects on weight loss. As reported by Grande Custom Ingredients, an industry innovator in whey protein, the six-month clinical trial found that people who ate supplemental whey protein weighed less and had less body fat than those who ate a carbohydrate supplement. The whey protein group also reported a smaller waist size than both the soy and carbohydrate groups. Lomira, Wisc.-based GCI supplies a variety of whey protein ingredients that can improve the functional benefits of many foods. Visit www.grandecig.com for more details.
Pairs of British identical and fraternal twins recently were studied to find out if their eating habits could be inherited. University College and Kings College London, surveyed young twins’ mothers on consumption routines, which revealed that meat and fish had the highest heritability rates over vegetables, fruit and desserts. The study surveyed twins due to their gene similarities – 100% for identical twins and 50% for fraternal twins – which could aid researchers in understanding the genetic and environmental influence on food preference. The findings, published online in Physiology and Behavior, could help the obesity epidemic by exploring children’s eating habits.
Trans Fat Travel
The next time you get that craving for French fries, you might think twice before heading to the drive-thru. A recent study by cardiologists measured the trans fat content at international McDonald’s and KFC locations. Between 2004 and 2005, researchers visited restaurants in dozens of countries and ordered McDonald’s chicken nuggets, KFC hot wings and fried potatoes at each chain. The KFCs in Poland and Hungary contained an average of 19 gm. of trans fat per large order of hot wings and fries, while the same meal had 5.5 gm. of trans fat in New York. Restaurants in Germany, Russia, Denmark and Scotland had less than 1 gm. of trans fat. The team also found that a large order of French fries from McDonald’s in New York had 30% more trans fat than in Atlanta. The researchers believe that the type of frying oil used is the culprit for higher trans fat content found in some areas. The findings of this study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, www.nejm.org.