Funding agencies: Dr. Ohkawara was supported by Research Fellowships of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists. Research support was provided by the University of Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Award (1UL1 RR025780) and Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (P30 DK048520).
Article first published online: 26 MAR 2013
Copyright © 2012 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 336–343, February 2013
How to Cite
Ohkawara, K., Cornier, M.-A., Kohrt, W. M. and Melanson, E. L. (2013), Effects of increased meal frequency on fat oxidation and perceived hunger. Obesity, 21: 336–343. doi: 10.1002/oby.20032
Disclosure: The authors had no financial or personal conflicts of interests.
- Issue published online: 26 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 26 MAR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 SEP 2012 09:43AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Received: 26 MAR 2012
- Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists
- University of Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Award. Grant Number: 1UL1 RR025780
- Nutrition and Obesity Research Center. Grant Number: P30 DK048520
Consuming smaller, more frequent meals is often advocated as a means of controlling body weight, but studies demonstrating a mechanistic effect of this practice on factors associated with body weight regulation are lacking. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of consuming three (3M) vs. six meals (6M) per day on 24-h fat oxidation and subjective ratings of hunger.
Design and Methods:
Lean (body mass index <25 kg/m2) subjects (7M, 8F) were studied in a whole-room calorimeter on two occasions in a randomized cross-over design. Subjects were provided isoenergetic, energy balanced diets with a 1- to 2-week washout between conditions. Hunger, fullness, and “desire to eat” ratings were assessed throughout the day using visual analog scales and quantified as area under the curve (AUC).
There were no differences (P < 0.05) in 24-h energy expenditure (8.7 ± 0.3 vs. 8.6 ± 0.3 mj d−1), 24-h respiratory quotient (0.85 ± 0.01 vs. 0.85 ± 0.01), or 24-h fat oxidation (82 ± 6 vs. 80 ± 7 g day-1) between 3M and 6M, respectively. There was no difference in fullness 24-h AUC, but hunger AUC (41850 ± 2255 vs. 36612 ± 2556 mm.24 h, P = 0.03) and “desire to eat” AUC (47061 ± 1791 vs. 41170 ± 2574 mm.24 h, P = 0.03) were greater during 6M than 3M.
We conclude that increasing meal frequency from three to six per day has no significant effect on 24-h fat oxidation, but may increase hunger and the desire to eat.