Expected satiety

The term expected satiety refers to the satiety (relief from hunger) that is expected from a particular food. It is closely associated with 'expected satiation' which refers to the immediate fullness (post meal) that a food is expected to generate.

Scientists have discovered that foods differ considerably in their expected satiety. One estimate suggests that there may be a six-fold difference in commonly consumed foods (in the UK), when they are compared calorie for calorie.[1] This range of variation is important because expected satiety is thought to be a good predictor of food choice and an excellent predictor of self-selected portion sizes.[2] Specifically, foods that have high expected satiety and high expected satiation tend to be selected in smaller portions (fewer calories). Therefore, they may be especially suited to diets that are designed to reduce energy intake.

Some researchers also suggest that expected satiety is an important mediator of energy intake.[3][4] They argue that within-meal events (immediate post-ingestive feedback, e.g., gastric stretch) play a relatively minor role and that meal size is largely determined by decisions about portion size, before a meal begins. Consistent with this proposition, observational studies show that 'plate cleaning' is extremely common,[5] that humans tend to plan their meal size in advance, and that ad libitum eating is relatively rare.[6][7]


Selecting a portion in a measure of expected satiety

Early approaches relied on rating scales.[8][9] More recently, techniques have been developed that quantify expectations very precisely by comparing foods directly on a calorie-for-calorie basis. The first of these used a classical psychophysical approach based on a 'method of constant stimuli'.[10] Participants are shown a fixed 'standard' portion of food and this is compared against a different 'comparison' food. Over a series of trials the size of the comparison food is manipulated and participants are asked to pick the food that is expected to deliver greater satiety. At the end of the task a measure of 'expected satiety' is calculated. This relates to the number of calories of the comparison food that would be expected to deliver the same satiety as the fixed standard. A conceptually similar alternative is to use a 'method of adjustment'. Participants are shown a picture of a standard food next to a picture of a comparison food. Using specialist software, participants change the size of the comparison portion using keyboard responses.[11] Pictures are loaded with sufficient speed that the change in the comparison becomes 'animated.' Participants are told to match the comparison food until both are expected to deliver the same satiety. If the same standard is used then the expected satiety of different foods can be quantified and compared directly.


Expectations about the post-ingestive effects of a food are learned over time.[12] In particular, it would appear that the expected satiety and expected satiation of foods increases as they become familiar.[13][14][15]

Expectations are also thought to be governed by the orosensory characteristics of food. Even subtle changes to the flavor or texture of food can have a marked effect.[16][17] Expected satiation may be higher in foods that have a higher protein content, and in those that require more chewing and that are eaten slowly.[18][19] Remarkably, it also appears that the expected satiety and expected satiation of foods is influenced by their perceived weight.[20]

Effect on appetiteEdit

The effects of expected satiety and expected satiation appear to extend beyond meal planning. Several studies show that these expectations also influence the hunger and fullness that is experienced after a meal has been consumed.[21] Product labelling and branding is likely to modify expected satiety.[22] Therefore, this kind of information has the potential to influence appetite directly. Together, these observations are consistent with emerging evidence that implicates hippocampal-dependent memory mechanisms in behavioural responses to food.[23][24][25]


Recent reviews[26] highlight opportunities to reformulate commercial food products to increase their expected satiety and expected satiation.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2008). "Measuring 'expected satiety' in a range of common foods using a method of constant stimuli". Appetite. 51 (3): 604–614. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2008.04.017. PMID 18547677. S2CID 24318905.
  2. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2012). "How many calories are on our plate? Expected fullness, not liking, determines meal-size selection". Obesity. 17 (10): 1884–1890. doi:10.1038/oby.2009.201. PMID 19543204.
  3. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2014). "Mind over platter: pre-meal planning and the control of meal size in humans". International Journal of Obesity. 38 (Suppl 1): S9–12. doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.83. PMC 4105578. PMID 25033963.
  4. ^ Forde, C.G. (2015). "Expected Satiety: Application to weight management and understanding energy selection in humans". Current Obesity Reports. 4 (1): 131–140. doi:10.1007/s13679-015-0144-0. PMC 4881812. PMID 26627096.
  5. ^ Wansink, B. (2014). "The clean plate club: about 92% of self-served food is eaten". International Journal of Obesity. 39 (2): 371–374. doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.104. PMID 24946909.
  6. ^ Wilkinson, L.L. (2012). "Computer-based assessments of expected satiety predict behavioural measures of portion-size selection and food intake". Appetite. 59 (3): 933–938. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2012.09.007. PMID 22989621. S2CID 11942486.
  7. ^ Fay, S. (2011). "What determines real-world meal size? Evidence for pre-meal planning" (PDF). Appetite. 56 (2): 284–289. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.01.006. PMID 21232568. S2CID 32092114.
  8. ^ Green, S.M. (1996). "Subjective and objective indices of the satiating effect of foods. Can people predict how filling a food will be?". European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 50 (12): 798–806. PMID 8968700.
  9. ^ de Graaf, C. (1992). "Beliefs about the satiating effect of bread with spread varying in macronutrient content". Appetite. 18 (2): 121–128. doi:10.1016/0195-6663(92)90189-d. PMID 1319130. S2CID 12187141.
  10. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2008). "Measuring 'expected satiety' in a range of common foods using a method of constant stimuli". Appetite. 51 (3): 604–614. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2008.04.017. PMID 18547677. S2CID 24318905.
  11. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2009). "How many calories are on our plate? Expected fullness, not liking, determines meal-size selection". Obesity. 17 (10): 1884–1890. doi:10.1038/oby.2009.201. PMID 19543204.
  12. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2009). "Conditioning 'fullness expectations' in a novel dessert". Appetite. 52 (3): 780–783. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2009.02.009. PMID 19501781. S2CID 31078385.
  13. ^ Irvine, M. (2012). "Increased familiarity with eating a food to fullness underlies increased expected satiety". Appetite. 61 (13–18): 13–18. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2012.10.011. PMID 23092755. S2CID 35976185.
  14. ^ Hardman, C. (2011). "Children's familiarity with snack foods changes expectations about fullness". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 94 (5): 1196–201. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.016873. PMID 21918214.
  15. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2010). "Familiarity changes expectations about fullness". Appetite. 54 (3): 587–90. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2010.01.015. PMID 20138942. S2CID 33559237.
  16. ^ Hogenkamp, P.S. (2012). "Expected satiation after repeated consumption of low- or high-energy-dense soup". British Journal of Nutrition. 108 (1): 182–190. doi:10.1017/s0007114511005344. PMID 22017801.
  17. ^ McCrickerd, K. (2012). "Subtle changes in the flavour and texture of a drink enhance expectations of satiety". Flavour Sci Recent Dev. 1 (20): 1–11. doi:10.1186/2044-7248-1-20.
  18. ^ Forde, C.G. (2013). "Oral processing characteristics of solid savoury meal components, and relationship with food composition, sensory attributes and expected satiation". Appetite. 60 (1): 208–219. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2012.09.015. PMID 23017464. S2CID 9958239.
  19. ^ Ferriday, D. (2013). "Exploring relationships between expected satiation, eating topography and actual satiety across a range of meals". Appetite. 71 (1): 474. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2013.06.021. S2CID 54408143.
  20. ^ Piqueras-Fiszman, B. (2012). "The weight of the container influences expected satiety, perceived density, and subsequent expected fullness". Appetite. 58 (2): 559–562. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.12.021. PMID 22245134. S2CID 3275288.
  21. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2011). "'Expected satiety' changes hunger and fullness in the inter-meal interval". Appetite. 56 (2): 310–5. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.01.002. PMID 21219951. S2CID 32342690.
  22. ^ Fay, S.H. (2011). "Product labelling can confer sustained increases in expected and actual satiety" (PDF). Appetite. 57 (2): 557. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.05.069. S2CID 54231213.
  23. ^ Brunstrom, J.M. (2012). "Episodic memory and appetite regulation in humans". PLOS ONE. 7 (12): e50707. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050707. PMC 3515570. PMID 23227200.
  24. ^ Higgs, S. (2002). "Memory for recent eating and its influence on subsequent food intake". Appetite. 39 (2): 159–66. doi:10.1006/appe.2002.0500. PMID 12354684. S2CID 22842724.
  25. ^ Kanoski, S.E. (2011). "Western diet consumption and cognitive impairment: Links to hippocampal dysfunction and obesity". Physiology and Behavior. 103 (1): 59–68. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.12.003. PMC 3056912. PMID 21167850.
  26. ^ Fiszman, Susana; Tarrega, Amparo (2017). "Expectations of food satiation and satiety reviewed with special focus on food properties". Food & Function. 8 (8): 2686–2697. doi:10.1039/C7FO00307B. ISSN 2042-6496. PMID 28686245.