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So Many Brands and Varieties to Choose from: Does This Compromise the Control of Food Intake in Humans?

Hardman CA, Ferriday D, Kyle L, Rogers PJ, Brunstrom JM - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We reasoned that dietary variability might generate uncertainty about the postingestive effects of a food.In a follow-up study (n= 66; 65% female), high pizza variability was associated with i) poorer compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) lower expected satiation for pepperoni pizza.Furthermore, the effect of uncertainty on caloric compensation was moderated by individual differences in decision making (loss aversion).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
The recent rise in obesity is widely attributed to changes in the dietary environment (e.g., increased availability of energy-dense foods and larger portion sizes). However, a critical feature of our "obesogenic environment" may have been overlooked - the dramatic increase in "dietary variability" (the tendency for specific mass-produced foods to be available in numerous varieties that differ in energy content). In this study we tested the hypothesis that dietary variability compromises the control of food intake in humans. Specifically, we examined the effects of dietary variability in pepperoni pizza on two key outcome variables; i) compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) expectations about the satiating properties of pepperoni pizza (expected satiation). We reasoned that dietary variability might generate uncertainty about the postingestive effects of a food. An internet-based questionnaire was completed by 199 adults. This revealed substantial variation in exposure to different varieties of pepperoni pizza. In a follow-up study (n= 66; 65% female), high pizza variability was associated with i) poorer compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) lower expected satiation for pepperoni pizza. Furthermore, the effect of uncertainty on caloric compensation was moderated by individual differences in decision making (loss aversion). For the first time, these findings highlight a process by which dietary variability may compromise food-intake control in humans. This is important because it exposes a new feature of Western diets (processed foods in particular) that might contribute to overeating and obesity.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Individual differences in pizza variability for respondents (N = 199) in Stage 1.Note. Individual scores for pizza variability were computed using the IQR of the energy content of the pizza brands consumed by each respondent over the past year.
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pone.0125869.g001: Individual differences in pizza variability for respondents (N = 199) in Stage 1.Note. Individual scores for pizza variability were computed using the IQR of the energy content of the pizza brands consumed by each respondent over the past year.

Mentions: On average, respondents reported having eaten 5.2 (SD = 2.4) different brands of pepperoni pizza over the past year. The mean energy content of these pizzas was 1208 (SD = 170) kcal. The mean variability in pizza energy content was 271 (SD = 143) kcal. Individual values for variability ranged from 0 (i.e., no variability; the respondent had consumed only one brand of pepperoni pizza) through to 594 kcal. These values are displayed graphically in Fig 1. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test confirmed that the data were not normally distributed (KS = 0.12, p <.001). Non-parametric correlation coefficients indicated that TFEQ-dietary restraint was positively correlated with pizza variability (Spearman’s rho = .18, p = .012). However, neither age, BMI, TFEQ-disinhibition nor loss aversion correlated significantly with pizza variability (all p values >.08).


So Many Brands and Varieties to Choose from: Does This Compromise the Control of Food Intake in Humans?

Hardman CA, Ferriday D, Kyle L, Rogers PJ, Brunstrom JM - PLoS ONE (2015)

Individual differences in pizza variability for respondents (N = 199) in Stage 1.Note. Individual scores for pizza variability were computed using the IQR of the energy content of the pizza brands consumed by each respondent over the past year.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4414581&req=5

pone.0125869.g001: Individual differences in pizza variability for respondents (N = 199) in Stage 1.Note. Individual scores for pizza variability were computed using the IQR of the energy content of the pizza brands consumed by each respondent over the past year.
Mentions: On average, respondents reported having eaten 5.2 (SD = 2.4) different brands of pepperoni pizza over the past year. The mean energy content of these pizzas was 1208 (SD = 170) kcal. The mean variability in pizza energy content was 271 (SD = 143) kcal. Individual values for variability ranged from 0 (i.e., no variability; the respondent had consumed only one brand of pepperoni pizza) through to 594 kcal. These values are displayed graphically in Fig 1. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test confirmed that the data were not normally distributed (KS = 0.12, p <.001). Non-parametric correlation coefficients indicated that TFEQ-dietary restraint was positively correlated with pizza variability (Spearman’s rho = .18, p = .012). However, neither age, BMI, TFEQ-disinhibition nor loss aversion correlated significantly with pizza variability (all p values >.08).

Bottom Line: We reasoned that dietary variability might generate uncertainty about the postingestive effects of a food.In a follow-up study (n= 66; 65% female), high pizza variability was associated with i) poorer compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) lower expected satiation for pepperoni pizza.Furthermore, the effect of uncertainty on caloric compensation was moderated by individual differences in decision making (loss aversion).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
The recent rise in obesity is widely attributed to changes in the dietary environment (e.g., increased availability of energy-dense foods and larger portion sizes). However, a critical feature of our "obesogenic environment" may have been overlooked - the dramatic increase in "dietary variability" (the tendency for specific mass-produced foods to be available in numerous varieties that differ in energy content). In this study we tested the hypothesis that dietary variability compromises the control of food intake in humans. Specifically, we examined the effects of dietary variability in pepperoni pizza on two key outcome variables; i) compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) expectations about the satiating properties of pepperoni pizza (expected satiation). We reasoned that dietary variability might generate uncertainty about the postingestive effects of a food. An internet-based questionnaire was completed by 199 adults. This revealed substantial variation in exposure to different varieties of pepperoni pizza. In a follow-up study (n= 66; 65% female), high pizza variability was associated with i) poorer compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) lower expected satiation for pepperoni pizza. Furthermore, the effect of uncertainty on caloric compensation was moderated by individual differences in decision making (loss aversion). For the first time, these findings highlight a process by which dietary variability may compromise food-intake control in humans. This is important because it exposes a new feature of Western diets (processed foods in particular) that might contribute to overeating and obesity.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus