Using the science of eating behaviour to guide the development of healthier diets

Background

Effective guidance, products and communication can help consumers with appetite control and energy balance. But what are the preferred methodologies for substantiating the efficacy for appetite and energy balance and what are the benefits of these? Which specific food characteristics and physiological targets are relevant? What do consumers expect from health claims in the area of satiety and energy balance, and how do they perceive them? These are some of the questions addressed by the Eating Behaviour and Energy Balance Task Force.

Objectives

The task force aims to evaluate the scientific underpinning for routes to achieve improved energy balance and appropriate methods for their substantiation and communication to consumers.

Impact

For the first time, the totality of evidence on the question of low energy sweeteners’ effects on energy intake and body weight has been considered in a systematic review, including both human and animal research. This systematic review (P. Rogers et al., 2016) ranked first in International Journal of Obesity’s most downloaded papers. In total, it achieved the highest social and online media appearance of all ILSI Global articles ever.

The potential benefits of enhanced satiety have recently been reviewed (M.M. Hetherington et al., 2013). Levels of evidence varied for different outcomes (e.g. convincing evidence of short-term satiety benefits to hunger management, possible evidence of benefits to mood and cognition, inadequate evidence that satiety enhancement can promote weight loss).

The report on the 2012 ILSI Europe workshop ‘Satiety and Appetite Control Claims: Getting it Right for Consumers’ published in Nutrition Bulletin in 2013 concluded that consumers may benefit from satiety enhancement in different ways. Research indicates that most consumers understand that claims for such effects of products do not imply a single, simple solution to weight management.

The task force supported an activity to directly assess consumer understanding of claims in this area. This showed that there is likely to be a relatively low level of consumer misinterpretation of satiety-related claims on food products (E.M. Bilman et al., 2012).

What’s New

  • Workshop on ‘Dietary Sweetness – Is It an Issue?’ on 3-4 April 2017.  Click here for more information.
  • The task force is considering a proposal to work on food characteristics and sensory attributes and satiety, i.e. to identify the main parameters that improve satiety, while taking into account food appreciation.

For more detailed information, please contact Dr Cyril Marsaux at cmarsaux@ilsieurope.be

Task Force Members

Dr David Mela – Chair Unilever NL
Prof. Peter Rogers – Co-Chair University of Bristol UK
Dr Ieva Alaunyte – Vice-Chair Lucozade Ribena Suntory UK
Dr Sue Gatenby PepsiCo International UK
Dr Kavita Karnik Tate & Lyle UK
Dr Sophie Kergoat Wrigley US
Dr Heidi Kildegaard Arla Foods DK
Dr Anne Lluch Danone FR
Dr Nathalie Martin Nestlé CH
Dr Robert Steinert DSM CH
Dr Kirsti Tiihonen DuPont Nutrition & Health FI
Dr Sophie Vinoy Mondelēz Europe FR
Dr Cyril Marsaux ILSI Europe BE

Expert Groups

Workshop – Sweet Taste Perception, Food Preference And Eating Behaviour – NEW

Objectives

Humans have an inborn liking and desire for sweetness that is persistent in all ethnic groups and cultures. Changes can be seen in the characteristics of liking and motivation for sweetness as we progress through life. Today, however, human attraction to sweet sources of energy is seen as a potential risk for developing less healthy eating patterns. In this context, there is often a failure to distinguish between putative effects of exposure to sources of sweetness and the effects of exposure to sweetness itself. This workshop, jointly organised with the Dietary Carbohydrates Task Force, intends to assess the evidence base linking sweetness with health and dietary preferences throughout life stages.

Activity

The workshop on ‘Sweet Taste Perception, Food Preference and Eating Behaviour’ aims to encompass the great variety of scientific issues associated with this topic. Among them, it should, for instance, address how variation in sweetness perception and exposure impacts food preference, diet quality and energy balance.

Expected Output

This workshop will bring together experts from different fields to build a scientific consensus on this very important topic. Research gaps and needs will also be identified. The workshop will result in the publication of proceedings and the submission of a manuscript to a scientific journal. Based on the outcomes of this event, a follow-up expert group might be created to address some of the workshop conclusions.

Physiological and Behavioural Adaptation to Dietary Enhancement of Satiety: Evidence and Timeframes

Objectives

How long should research studies run in order to give confidence in the sustained efficacy of interventions with supposed appetite-related benefits? There needs to be a balance between carrying out studies for a ‘sufficiently’ long period to support sustained efficacy against the costs, feasibility and subject retention and compliance issues arising with longer clinical testing periods. There is currently no objective basis for selecting an appropriate duration of sustained exposure. The aim of this activity is to systematically review the literature on testing satiety effects over sustained exposures and, from this, suggest evidence-based guidance on appropriate exposure durations for studying effects of diet / food and ingredients with putative benefits for satiety and energy intake.

Activity

This expert group is currently carrying out the systematic identification and review of research where acute effects of food or ingredients on satiety and energy intake have been assessed with repeated, sustained exposures. Based on the totality of evidence, types of interventions that appear to be resistant to or influenced by adapting mechanisms will be indicated. Corresponding timeframes as well as implications for research and guidance will be highlighted.

Expected Output

The output is meant to underpin guidance that can be applied in designing studies, used as selection criteria for reviews, and in regulatory evaluation of products and health claim substantiation data, to ensure the validity of scientific conclusions and consumer confidence in claims.

Physical-Chemical Properties of Dietary Fibre Relevant to Appetite-Related Mechanisms and Outcomes

Objectives

Dietary fibre is often recommended for appetite control, but not all fibres are equally effective for this purpose. Currently, there is no complete and authoritative overview that assesses which properties are most relevant. This activity focuses on the physical and chemical properties of dietary fibres relevant to appetite-related mechanisms and outcomes.

Activity

The activity considers different appetite-related mechanisms and undertakes a systematic review of research on fibre to identify the properties shown to be relevant for these mechanisms, with evidence of their impact.

Expected Output

An expected output would be an evidence-based review of the properties of fibre most relevant for appetite-related outcomes and general guidance for the specification of fibres used in dietary interventions. This would not only improve the ability to predict, test and select for specific fibres with desired effects, but it would also help in harmonising the characterization of fibres in future studies and reporting.

The Nutritional Impacts of Reduced-Energy Sweetener Use: What is the Weight of Evidence? – Completed

Objectives

The use of products formulated with reduced-energy sweeteners aims to meet dietary guidance and consumer desires of reducing sugar intakes. While some epidemiological and animal data suggested that sweetener usage could increase risks of weight gain, human intervention studies typically find either no effect or decreased energy intake and weight status. There is an evident lack of expert consensus in this area.

Activity

This expert group carried out a systematic review covering the relevant human and animal studies on the nutritional impacts of reduced-energy sweetener use, including meta-analyses of human intervention trials. This activity characterised the totality of evidence, along with knowledge gaps and additional research needs.

Output

This activity provided a comprehensive overview of the nutritional impacts of reduced-energy sweetener use, what the current evidence is telling us and what the uncertainties are. The systematic review article, entitled ‘Does Low-Energy Sweetener Consumption Affect Energy Intake and Body Weight? A Systematic Review, Including Meta-Analyses, of the Evidence from Human and Animal Studies’, was published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Expert Group Members

Workshop – Sweet Taste Perception, Food Preference and Eating Behaviour – NEW

Dr Anna Wittekind – Chair London Metropolitan University UK
Prof. Ian Macdonald – Co-Chair University of Nottingham UK
Dr Angela Bonnema Cargill US
Prof. Kees de Graaf Wageningen University NL
Prof. Jason Halford University of Liverpool UK
Dr Ana Piekarz The Coca-Cola Company BE
Dr Frédérique Respondek Tereos FR
Prof. Peter Rogers University of Bristol UK
Dr Pierre Dussort ILSI Europe BE
Dr Cyril Marsaux ILSI Europe BE

Physiological and Behavioural Adaptation to Dietary Enhancement of Satiety: Evidence and Timeframes

Prof. Jason Halford – Chair University of Liverpool UK
Dr David Mela – Vice-Chair Unilever NL
Dr Sophie Kergoat Wrigley US
Dr Anne Lluch Danone FR
Prof. Luca Marciani University of Nottingham UK
Dr Monica Mars University of Wageningen NL
Dr Una Masic University of Liverpool UK
Dr Sophie Vinoy Mondelēz Europe FR
Prof. Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga University of Maastricht NL
Dr Cyril Marsaux ILSI Europe BE

Physical-Chemical Properties of Dietary Fibre Relevant to Appetite-Related Mechanisms and Outcomes

Prof. Kaisa Poutanen – Chair VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland FI
Dr Alfrun Erkner Nestlé (Nestec) CH
Dr Susana Fiszman Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC) ES
Dr Kavita Karnik Tate & Lyle UK
Dr Sophie Kergoat Wrigley US
Prof. Mette Kristensen University of Copenhagen DK
Dr David Mela Unilever NL
Ms Saara Pentikäinen VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland FI
Prof. Joanne Slavin University of Minnesota US
Dr Robert Steinert DSM CH
Dr Cyril Marsaux ILSI Europe BE

The Nutritional Impacts of Reduced-Energy Sweetener Use: What is the Weight of Evidence? – Completed

Prof. Peter Rogers – Chair University of Bristol UK
Prof. Kees de Graaf Wageningen University NL
Dr Suzanne Higgs University of Birmingham UK
Dr Pleunie Hogenkamp Uppsala University SE
Dr Anne Lluch Danone FR
Dr David Mela Unilever NL
Prof. Andy Ness University of Bristol UK
Ms Rachel Perry University of Bristol UK
Dr Martin Yeomans University of Sussex UK
Dr Peter Putz ILSI Europe BE

Publications

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