Introduction Effects of sweet taste on short-term appetite are still being actively researched. This study investigates the proposal that the effects of sweet tastes on appetite may differ as a result of differing habitual experiences of sweetness with or without energy.
Methods Effects of sweet tastes on appetite were investigated in habitual high and low consumers of sweet/low-energy beverages. Sweet taste was manipulated in a preload lunch and appetite was subsequently measured using test meal intake and subjective ratings of general and specific appetites.
Results The effects of the sweet and nonsweet lunch on short-term appetite differed significantly in high and low consumers of sweet/low-energy beverages, in subjective ratings of appetite for something sweet [consumer × preload × time interaction F(12,126) = 2.68, P = 0.003] and appetite for something savoury [consumer × preload × time interaction F(12,126) = 3.17, P = 0.001]. Effects in low consumers of sweetness without energy demonstrate close association between taste and energy, whereas effects in high consumers suggest a dissociation between taste and energy in these consumers.
Discussion These findings provide a further indication that the short-term control of appetite varies according to the habitual pattern of dietary intake. The long-term experience of sweetness without energy influences appetite for sweet and savoury tastes.