Skipping Breakfast Decreases Energy Intake, Water Before Meal Trick Works, Food Addiction Self-Diagnosis, Eating Speed & Obesity, Chilled Water as a Nootropic & More

Food addiction is a self-diagnosed disease that befalls preferentially those people who spend hours and days on the Internet seeking for an excuse for their inability to lose weight.
It has been a while since I have published the last installment of the short news. Today, however, the publication of the latest edition of the scientific journal Appetite appears to be a good opportunity to finally put out another of the short news potpourris.

I mean, one of the study shows that it may be essential for your well-being to listen to what scientists say and eat healthy, not unhealthy, which is associated with below average well-being in undergraduate students at the Cardiff University (Richards. 2014). But the study by Richards et al. is by no means the only one with highly health-relevant and surprisingly interesting information you will find in today's short news potpourri.
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I mean, who would have guessed that we have a built-in apathy against being too close to obese individuals? No? Well, me neither, but this is just what L.D. Stafford and K. Banks found in their latest study: "[T]he mere proximity effect", which occurs, when normal-weight individuals stand close to obese ones, "can be influenced positively or negatively depending on the perceived status of the non-target individual and that implicit attitudes act to modulate this effect" (Stafford. 2014).

And there is more than just exotic study results in the latest edition of Appetite - examples? Well, here you go:
  • Another recent study indicates: Having a small breakfast (118kcal) before morning can benefit 5h post-exercise mood and appetite control in the time between breakfast and lunch and will avoid the cognitive decline associated with consuming a larger breakfast (Vasey. 2014)
    Another breakfast-omitting study (Plekhanova. 2014) shows that high energy intakes at breakfast increase the total daily energy intake compared to both no breakfast and a regular breakfast. Interestingly, though, the energy intake between 9:00-14:00 and 14:00-bedtime was similar between conditions (P>0.05).

    Overall, the most important message of the study is thus, the subjects of the UK study at hand indicates that normal- and overweight 2 to 14 year-old girls do not appear to compensate by consuming more energy over the remainder of the day during three days of breakfast omission compared with habitual or high-energy breakfast consumption.

    "The lack of compensation in terms of energy intake indicates that energy expenditure may be more important in explaining the higher obesity risk in girls who do not regularly consume breakfast," the scientists who are still analyzing the effects on physical activity point out.
  • Scientists find what makes the British fat (Stewart-Knox. 2014) and it's the spit image of the sedentary, meat eating, oil omitting, non-resilient man with higher mood valance and sick relatives. Of these indirect pathways to dietary habits, physical activity level, higher resilience and mood valance were directly related to negative life events, which are thus another determinant of increased waist circumference in middle-aged British adults.

    Sounds crazy? Well, but that's exactly what scientists from the University of Bradford found to be associated with increased weight circumference in a representative samples of middle-aged adults aged >43 years were recruited in Great Britain (GB) (n = 1182). 
Think of energy containing foods as fluids... and bang! they become more satiating! A recent study from the University of Sussex (McCrickerd. 2014) confirms once again that satiety is triggered in the brain. In a small scale study the researchers observed that the satiating effects of one and the same calorie containing beverage increased when it was served as a "filling snack" instead of a fluid that was designed to "quench the thirst".
  • The water-trick works (Corney. 2014) you all know that common wisdom is commonly bullsh*t, but in the case of the "water-preload reduces food intake" myth, scientists from the Loughborough University have recently been able to show that "consumption of 568 ml water immediately before a meal reduces energy intake in non-obese young males and might therefore be an effective strategy to suppress energy intake in this population."

    When the participants arrived at the laboratory fasted (7–10 am) all consumed an ad-libitum porridge breakfast, with either 568 ml water (PRE) or no water (NO-PRE) consumed immediately before the meal. Subjective feelings questionnaires to assess hunger, fullness and satisfaction were completed before (pre-trial) and after (post-trial) the meal in both trials and after the water preload (post-PRE) during PRE.

    Figure 1: Energy intake w/ and w/out water preload (Corney. 2014)
    As you can see in Figure 1, the subjects who didn't receive the water preload consumed statistically significantly more energy than those who didn't.

    Immediately after the water preload the subjects in the PRE group also experienced an increase in fullness and satisfaction and a decrease in  hunger compared to pre-trial.

    After the meal, on the other hand, the fullness and satisfaction ratings in both groups were identical.

    Thus, "[t]his study demonstrates that consumption of 568 ml water immediately before a meal reduces energy intake in non-obese young males and might therefore be an effective strategy to suppress energy intake in this population." (Corney. 2014) Drinking water with the meal, by the way has previously been shown to be not effective to reduce the food intake in lean women (Rollls. 1999); in obese older individuals, on the other hand, it worked (Davy. 2008)
    Figure 2: Weight loss (left) and energy intake (right) in a 12-week study investigating the effects of
    pre-meal water intake (500ml) on weight loss (Dennis. 2014)
    Moreover, a study by Dennis et al. shows that consuming 500 ml water prior to each daily meal helped subjects on a hypocaloric diet lose an extra ∼2 kg over the course of a 12-week study (Dennis. 2010).
  • We buy & eat the packages we know and like (Gutjar. 2014), study shows. While in a blinded condition liking was the only determinant of food choice in a recent study from the Wageningen University, food choice in the "familiar package session", where the subjects had to pick from a bunch of unhealthy breakfast drinks and dessert products, lay between the blind and naïve package session.
Question: Can advertising make us choose certain foods? At least in preschool children it takes just 30 seconds of ad-exposure to influence their food preferences (Borzekowski. 2001). "Nutritionists and health educators should advise parents to limit their preschooler's exposure to television advertisements," scientists say.
  • The scientists interpret their results as being indicative of the guiding effect of extrinsic factors, in this case the packaging, which can have a similar impact on food choices as intrinsic (sensory) properties.
  • Figure 3: Previous studies show that chewing your food 40x vs. 15x will significantly reduce the food intake in lean and obese subjects. Sign. effects on hunger and satiety will yet be apparent only in the obese (Li. 2011)
    Fast eaters have higher BMI, waist circumference and body fat! Scientists from the Wageningen University analyzed data from 311 men and 551 women from the Dutch NQplus cohort. What they found was that (a) 17.4% of the women described themselves as being slow, 54.3% as average and 28.3% as fast eaters and that (b) fast eating women had higher weight, BMI, waist circumference and body fat (p<0.05).

    Similar results were observed for the male participants of whom 8.7% of reported to be slow, 44.7% average and 46.6% fast eaters. A result that supports previous evidence indicating that a reduction in eating speed / increase in chewing frequency decreases food intake.
  • Chilled water as a nootropic! You've read previously that 500ml water can help you lose weight. Interestingly enough the same 500ml chilled water may also help you master your next exams.

    According to a study from the University of Reading the consumption of 500ml of chilled water before a set of standardized cognitive tests will improve performance in several of the tests in young and older individuals (Masento. 2014).
  • High flavenol cacao drink increases cerebral perfusion in older individuals (Lamport. 2014) One of the latest studies from the University of Reading investigated the effect of a single acute dose of flavanols on cerebral blood flow and fount that the flavenol-rich (494 mg vs. 23mg) drinks  lead to significant increases in regional perfusion across.
  • Figure 4: In contrast to whole fruit which increase the risk of diabetes, fruit juices increase T2DM risk sign. (Muraki. 2014)
    If it contains fruits or a lot of water it must be healthy (Bucher. 2014). Parents and children's health perception of beverages are highly susceptible to marketing gabberish. Worst of all, while "water is good", "fruit is even better".

    In the eyes of the parents and kids who participated in a recent study at the ETH Zürich fruit content seemed to be a more important criterion specifically for children to rate a certan food as "healthy". Bad news, in view of the fact that fruit juice - in contrast to whole fruit - consumption is associated with an 8% increase in type II diabetes risk according to a 2013 Harvard study (Muraki. 2013).
Food addicts - what do they say about themselves? A recent study (Ruddock. 2014) found that those who identified as a ‘food addict’ reported frequent food cravings, a preoccupation with food, unhealthy eating patterns, a lack of dietary self-control, and the tendency to eat in the absence of hunger. Furthermore, food addicts reported a problem controlling their intake of foods high in fat and/or sugar. Non-addicts reported the opposite to these behaviours, thus indicating that self- perceived addicts and non- addicts share similar beliefs about what characterizes food addiction.
And last but not least, I want to conclude this installment of the short news with a primer on food addiction. An Internet-based disease... well, sort of. The latest data from the University of Liverpool (Hardman. 2014) would at least suggest that having read on the Internet (or elsewhere) about food addiction and the subsequent belief in the existence of this pathology increases the prevalence of being a “food addict” on both the self-diagnosed measure (57% vs. 27%, respectively, p = .018) and the Yale Scale (16% vs. 0%, p = .02).
As Herbert points out, "[t]hese findings suggest that people readily endorse the concept of food addiction as an explanation for their behaviour." (Herbert. 2014) What will have to be determined in future studies, however, is whether one's belief in his / her own food addiction will also affect the actual food intake -- in other words: Is there a "I am a food addict, so I can't but eat until I die" phenomenon | Comment on Facebook.
  • Borzekowski, Dina LG, and Thomas N. Robinson. "The 30-second effect: an experiment revealing the impact of television commercials on food preferences of preschoolers." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 101.1 (2001): 42-46. 
  • Bucher, T., M. Siegrist. "If it contains fruits or a lot of water it must be healthy. Parents and children's health perception of beverages." Appetite 83 (2014):347.
  • Corney, R.A., C. Sunderland, L.J. James. "Effect of an immediate pre-meal water preload on voluntary energy intake in non-obese young males." Appetite 83 (2014):361.
  • Davy, Brenda M., et al. "Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 108.7 (2008): 1236-1239.
  • Dennis, Elizabeth A., et al. "Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle‐aged and Older Adults." Obesity 18.2 (2010): 300-307.
  • Gutjar, S., C. de Graaf, G. Jager. "Food choice. The battle between package, taste and consumption situation." Appetite 83 (2014):358 
  • Hardman, C.A., H.K. Ruddock, R. Dallas, J. Scott, P.J. Rogers, E. Robinson. "Food addiction, myth or reality? The effects of priming beliefs about food addiction on self-diagnosis and consumption." Appetite 83 (2014): 355.
  • Lamport, D., D. Pal, C. Moutsiana, D.T. Field, C.M. Williams, J.P.E. Spencer, L.T. Butler. "The effect of flavanol rich cocoa on cerebral perfusion in older adults during conscious resting state." Appetite 83 (2014):351.
  • Li, Jie, et al. "Improvement in chewing activity reduces energy intake in one meal and modulates plasma gut hormone concentrations in obese and lean young Chinese men." The American journal of clinical nutrition 94.3 (2011): 709-716. 
  • Masento, N.A., A. John, V. Wilton, V. Benzesin, D.T. Field, L.T. Butler, C.M. van Reekum. "Investigating the effects of acute water supplementation on cognitive performance and mood in young and older adults." Appetite 83 (2014):355.
  • McCrickerd, K. L. Chambers, M.R. Yeomans. "Food or fluid? The context of consuming a beverage influences satiety." Appetite 83 (2014):348.
  • Muraki, Isao, et al. "Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies." BMJ: British Medical Journal 347 (2013).
  • Plekhanova, T., J.K. Zakrzewski, Effect of consuming compared with omitting breakfast on free-living energy intake and eating patterns in overweight and non-overweight adolescent girls, Appetite 83 (2014):361.
  • Richards, G., A.P. Smith. "Diet and wellbeing in undergraduate students." Appetite 83 (2014): 362.
  • Rolls, Barbara J., Elizabeth A. Bell, and Michelle L. Thorwart. "Water incorporated into a food but not served with a food decreases energy intake in lean women." The American journal of clinical nutrition. 70.1 (1999): 448-455. 
  • Ruddock, H.K., C.A. Hardman, M. Field. "'I perceive myself to be a food addict'. A qualitative exploration of the ‘food addiction’ concept." Appetite 83 (2014):355.
  • Stafford, L.D., K. Banks. "Don't (do) stand so close to me. Mere proximity effects in overweight and underweight contexts." Appetite 83 (2014): 362.
  • Stewart-Knox, B., M. Duffy, B. Bunting, D. Almeida, M. Gibney. "Psychological pathways to central obesity in healthy middle-aged British." Appetite 83 (2014):361.
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