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October 2010 newsletter news: Liquid calorie detectors

Liquid calorie detector: A study from Oxford Brookes University has shown that a mid-morning drink of juice or a sweetened beverage can reduce lunchtime appetite, especially in men. The study is the first of its kind to compare the ‘compensation effect’ of liquid calories on short-term energy consumption, in men and women. The results showed that liquid calories are detected by the body and compensated for at the next meal. Both men and women who consumed a drink containing calories in the morning ate less energy for lunch, compared to when they had a calorie-free mid-morning drink. Interestingly, men’s bodies appear to have better in-built calorie detectors than women.

Professor Henry, of Oxford Brookes University, said: “It is important to understand if the growth in caloric beverage consumption is contributing to the increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes. It has been suggested that sugars provided in liquid form encourage ‘passive over-consumption’ of energy from food, but this study shows that the body does compensate in the short term.  Further research is now needed to understand the mechanisms involved and whether the body also compensates for liquid calorie consumption in the long term.”

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