Independent and combined effects of eating rate and energy density on energy intake, appetite, and gut hormones


  • Disclosure: The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Army or the Department of Defense. Any citations of commercial organizations and trade names in this report do not constitute an official Department of the Army endorsement of approval of the products or services of these organizations. JPK, AJY, and JCR have no conflicts of interest. SJM reports having received an honorarium from the Nestle Corporation.

  • Funding agencies: This study is funded by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.



Energy density (ED) and eating rate (ER) influence energy intake; their combined effects on intake and on postprandial pancreatic and gut hormone responses are undetermined. To determine the combined effects of ED and ER manipulation on voluntary food intake, subjective appetite, and postprandial pancreatic and gut hormone responses.

Design and Methods:

Twenty nonobese volunteers each consumed high (1.6 kcal g−1; HED) and low (1.2 kcal g−1; LED) ED breakfasts slowly (20 g min−1; SR) and quickly (80 g min−1; FR) ad libitum to satiation. Appetite, and pancreatic and gut hormone concentrations were measured periodically over 3 h. Ad libitum energy intake during the subsequent lunch was then measured.


Main effects of ED and ER on energy intake and a main effect of ER, but not ED, on mass of food consumed were observed, FR and HED being associated with increased intake (P < 0.05). Across all conditions, energy intake was highest during FR-HED (P ≤ 0.01). Area under the curve (AUC) of appetite ratings was not different between meals. Main effects of ED and ER on insulin, peptide-YY, and glucagon-like peptide-1 AUC (P < 0.05) were observed, FR and HED being associated with larger AUC. No effects on active or total ghrelin AUC were documented. Total energy intake over both meals was highest during the FR-HED trial with the greatest difference between FR-HED and SR-LED trials (P ≤ 0.01).


Consuming an energy dense meal quickly compounds independent effects of ER and ED on energy intake. Energy compensation at the following meal may not occur despite altered gut hormone responses.