Role of eating frequency and macronutrient content of in-between-meal snacks in body weight control in overweight men aged 25-50 years: preliminary results

Swati Zaveri, Sandra Drummond

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


The role of eating frequency has been increasingly studied in relation to body weight control. Contrary to popular opinion, studies (Fabry et al. 1964; Metzner et al. 1977; Kant et al. 1995; Drummond et al. 1998) have shown an inverse relationship between body weight status (BMI) and eating frequency. Therefore, a high eating frequency may be beneficial in appetite control. In addition, there is collecting evidence that protein is more satiating than carbohydrate and fat (Teff et al. 1989, Barkeling et al. 1990; Golay et al. 1997). The present study aimed to assess the impact of increasing daily eating frequency (EF) with either high-carbohydrate (HC), high-protein (HP) or high-fat (HF) snacks on body weight control in overweight men.

Fifty nine men aged 25–50 yrs with BMI 25–35 kg/m2 were randomly assigned to Control (C) (n 13), HC (n 14), HP (n 18) or HF (n 14) group. All volunteers were provided with advice to reduce fat in the diet. Commonly eaten readily available snacks were chosen for this study. Two snacks consisting of either cereal bars (949 kJ), almonds (1434 kJ) or crisps (1099 kJ) were introduced to three groups
respectively for 12 weeks. Therefore, the snacks were not isocaloric. In addition, the HP snack (almonds) were also high in total fat but high in MUFA (69% of total fat). Dietary intake was recorded in a 4-day unweighed diet diary and hunger ratings were recorded on a 100mm visual analogue scale (VAS) at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. Differences across time and between groups were analyzed using
repeated measures ANOVA.
EF HR TEI (kj/dl)
Baseline 12 weeks Baseline 12 weeks Baseline 12 weeks
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
C 5.3 1.7 4.7 2.3 4.1* 1.4 4.5* 1.6 7740 1427 7523 2289
HC 5.2 1.1 4.7** 1.0 4.4 1.7 5.2 1.8 8297 2318 8552 2188
HP 5.6 1.9 6.3** 1.6 4.5 1.2 4.1 0.9 8569 2100 8125 2151
HF 5.3 1.5 5.3 1.2 4.4 0.9 4.7 0.9 8372 1393 8347 1720
TEI, Total energy intake; HR (VAS), 1=‘not hungry’ 10=‘very hungry’.
*, ** Significant at P£0.05; 0.008.
Although, there was an increase in mean EF in HP group compared to HC group at 12 weeks,
there was no corresponding increase in mean energy intake. The hunger rating significantly increased in
C group from 4.1 (SD 1.4) at baseline to 4.5 (SD 1.6) at 12 weeks (P=0.05). The hunger rating decreased
in HP group (4.5 (SD 1.2) v. 4.1 (SD 0.9)) although this failed to reach statistical significance (P=0.09).
HP snack compared to HC and HF snack promoted a higher frequency of eating, which may be
more satiating and lead to energy compensation in subsequent meals. Snacks such as almonds, with
higher protein content than more traditional snacks, may play a role in appetite control in the long term
and may help in decreasing the risk of obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77A
Number of pages77
JournalProceedings of Nutrition Society
Issue numberOCA-B
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2006
EventNutrition Society Scientific Meeting 2006 - Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20066 Jul 2006


  • Nutrition
  • Dietetics
  • In-between-meals
  • Male obesity
  • Overweight
  • Body Weight Status


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