University Park, Pa. -- You can't live on air, but Penn State researchers have shown that big, puffed-up food servings can satisfy better than small, packed-down, calorie-equivalent portions - a fact that can help you feel full on fewer calories.
Study director Dr. Barbara Rolls, who holds the Guthrie Chair in Nutrition in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, says, "We're not suggesting you try to fill up on lots of airy foods. You might get a stomachache and would probably burp a lot! But this study does show that you can trick your senses into believing you have eaten more food by pumping up the size of the portion with air."
The study is detailed in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in a paper, "Increasing the Volume of a Food by Incorporating Air Affects Satiety in Men." The authors are Rolls, Elizabeth Bell, doctoral candidate in nutrition, and Bethany W. Waugh, manager, Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior.
The 28 lean men who participated in the study ate breakfast, lunch and dinner one day a week in the laboratory for four weeks. Thirty minutes before lunch, they were served one of three strawberry smoothies. The researchers made the smoothies with exactly the same ingredients but mixed them for different amounts of time in a blender. The smoothies filled either half, three-quarters or a full glass. The bigger the smoothie the men consumed, the less they ate at lunch. After consuming the biggest smoothie, the men ate 12 percent - or about 100 calories -less lunch than they did when they drank the smallest one - even though both drinks contained the exact same ingredients and the same number of calories.
In her best selling book "Volumetrics," written with Robert Barnett, Rolls explains that the research points to a way to decrease the daily amount of calories you consume while still feeling full and satisfied. Whipped foods, she notes, can be especially useful. "You
Contact: Barbara Hale