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Open Access Short report

The effects of increased dietary protein yogurt snack in the afternoon on appetite control and eating initiation in healthy women

Laura C Ortinau1, Julie M Culp2, Heather A Hoertel1, Steve M Douglas1 and Heather J Leidy13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri, 204 Gwynn Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

2 General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, Minneapolis, MN, USA

3 School of Medicine, University of Missouri, 204 Gwynn Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

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Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:71  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-71

Published: 6 June 2013

Abstract

Background

A large portion of daily intake comes from snacking. One of the increasingly common, healthier snacks includes Greek-style yogurt, which is typically higher in protein than regular yogurt. This study evaluated whether a 160 kcal higher-protein (HP) Greek-style yogurt snack improves appetite control, satiety, and delays subsequent eating compared to an isocaloric normal protein (NP) regular yogurt in healthy women. This study also identified the factors that predict the onset of eating.

Findings

Thirty-two healthy women (age: 27 ± 2y; BMI: 23.0 ± 0.4 kg/m2) completed the acute, randomized crossover-design study. On separate days, participants came to our facility to consume a standardized lunch followed by the consumption of the NP (5.0 g protein) or HP (14.0 g protein) yogurt at 3 h post-lunch. Perceived hunger and fullness were assessed throughout the afternoon until dinner was voluntarily requested; ad libitum dinner was then provided. Snacking led to reductions in hunger and increases in fullness. No differences in post-snack perceived hunger or fullness were observed between the NP and HP yogurt snacks. Dinner was voluntarily requested at approximately 2:40 ± 0:05 h post-snack with no differences between the HP vs. NP yogurts. Ad libitum dinner intake was not different between the snacks (NP: 686 ± 33 kcal vs. HP: 709 ± 34 kcal; p = 0.324). In identifying key factors that predict eating initiation, perceived hunger, fullness, and habitual dinner time accounted for 30% of the variability of time to dinner request (r = 0.55; p < 0.001).

Conclusions

The additional 9 g of protein contained in the high protein Greek yogurt was insufficient to elicit protein-related improvements in markers of energy intake regulation.

Keywords:
Snacking; High protein; Voluntary meal request; Satiety; Eating initiation