800 calories a day less and women never missed them

November 15, 2004

When Penn State researchers made small changes in young women's meals -- reducing calorie density by 30 percent and serving size by just 25 percent -- the women ate 800 calories less per day and felt just as full and satisfied.

Dr. Barbara Rolls, who holds the Guthrie Chair of Nutrition in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, directed the study. She says, "We lowered the energy density, or calories per gram, of the participants' meals by incorporating more vegetables and fruit in recipes and also using food products reduced in fat and sugar. The subjects found the smaller, lower energy density meals just as palatable, filling and satisfying as the big, high calorie menu items -- and they didn't compensate for lowered intake on the first day by eating more on the second day of the study."

Rolls detailed the study results Monday, Nov. 15 at the annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) in Las Vegas. Her co-authors are Liane Roe, research nutritionist, and Jennifer S. Meengs, research technologist.

In the study, on two consecutive days in each of four weeks, 24 young women, ages 19 to 35, ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in Penn State's Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior. They also received evening snacks to take home.

The same two-day menu was served in all weeks but the foods were varied in energy density and portion size. The meals were either standard or reduced by 30 percent in energy density or reduced 25 percent in portion size or both.

Reducing the energy density of foods by 30 percent led to a 23 percent decrease in daily calorie intake. Reducing the portion size by 25 percent led to a 12 percent decrease in calorie intake. Despite the large variation in intake, there were no significant differences in ratings of hunger or fullness over the two days.

Rolls notes, "This study shows that even small reductions in the energy density or portion size of foods are likely to decrease energy intake. The results suggests that home cooks and restaurants could take an easy step toward obesity prevention by adding more fruits and vegetables and trimming the fat to decrease energy density without having to serve tiny portions."

Reducing energy density is the key to Rolls' eating plan and the subject of her best-selling book, The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. In March 2005, Harper Collins will publish The Volumetrics Eating Plan, a new cookbook and lifestyle guide based on Roll's research. The new guide will contain menu planners, charts and sidebars on healthy food choices, 44 color photographs, and 125 recipes that translate Rolls' research into practical advice.
Photos are available at http://www.psu.edu/ur/2004/foodphotos.htm

Penn State

Related Calories Articles from Brightsurf:

Calories by the clock? Squeezing most of your calories in early doesn't impact weight loss
Time-restricted eating, which restricts eating to specific hours of the day, did not impact weight among overweight adults with prediabetes or diabetes.

Study pinpoints top sources of empty calories for children and teens
A new study of children and teens found that more than 25% of the calories they consume were considered empty -- those from added sugars and solid fats.

People with brown fat may burn 15% more calories
Short-term cold exposure may help people with brown fat burn 15% more calories than those without, according to a small study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Consuming extra calories can help exercising women avoid menstrual disorders
Exercising women who struggle to consume enough calories and have menstrual disorders can simply increase their food intake to recover their menstrual cycle, according to a study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, and publication in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

People who eat a big breakfast may burn twice as many calories
Eating a big breakfast rather than a large dinner may prevent obesity and high blood sugar, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Calories in popular UK restaurant chain dishes can be 'shockingly high' warn experts
The calorie content of popular starters, sides and desserts served in UK restaurant chains is too high and only a minority meet public health recommendations, finds a University of Liverpool study published in BMJ Open.

Monkeys like alcohol at low concentrations, but probably not due to the calories
Fruit-eating monkeys show a preference for concentrations of alcohol found in fermenting fruit, but do not seem to use alcohol as a source of supplementary calories, according to a study by researchers from Linköping University, Sweden, and the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico.

Pregnant women with obesity may not require additional calories for healthy pregnancies
Guidelines for weight gain and caloric intake during pregnancy are not tailored to women with obesity, 2/3 of whom gain excessive weight during pregnancy that poses a risk to mother and child.

Exercising while restricting calories could be bad for bone health
UNC School of Medicine's Maya Styner, MD, led research showing that the combination of cutting calories and exercising can make bones smaller and more fragile in animals, whereas exercise on a full-calorie diet has a positive impact on bone health.

Even in svelte adults, cutting about 300 calories daily protects the heart
In adults already at a healthy weight or carrying just a few extra pounds, cutting around 300 calories a day significantly improved already good levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and other markers.

Read More: Calories News and Calories Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.