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A high-calorie snack increases daily calorie intake by 263 calories per day
Thursday, March 22, 2007 4:08 am Email this article
Snacking increases daily calorie intake according to a new study from the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland. In other words, people do not fully compensate for the calories the consume in snacks. Snacks
Snacks: 720 calorie snack, 360 calorie snack, or no snack each day
People were forced eat either a high-calorie snack (720 calories), a low-calorie snack (360 calories), or no snack each day for three weeks.
Snack Increase Calorie Intake
Snacks increase daily calorie intake: 263 calories for high-calorie snack, 68 calories for low-calorie snack
Total daily calorie intake for the three groups was as follows:
- 2,484 calories per day for those eating no snacks
- 2,652 calories per day for those eating a low-calorie snack (68 calories more than the no snack group)
- 2,747 calories per day for those eating a high-calorie snack (263 calories more than the no snack group)
People ate fewer calories when they wrote it down
The authors noted that people ate fewer daily calories when they wrote down that they had eaten a snack.
“Energy balance was more positive [that is, people consumed more calories] when subjects were not recording their food intakes than when they were,” the paper notes.
Comment: This why meal replacements work
This is why meal replacements, such as SlimFast shakes, work. People do not fully compensate for the calories that they miss at a meal.
Comment: Write it down
The other lesson to be learned from the study is keep a food diary—write down what you eat. This is the only way to realize how much you eat. Otherwise, we all lie to ourselves and say, “I didn’t really eat that much.” Yes, you did. Write it down.
Whybrow S, Mayer C, Kirk TR, Mazlan N, Stubbs RJ. Effects of two weeks’ mandatory snack consumption on energy intake and energy balance. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Mar, 15(3):673-85.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Rowett Research Institute
Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland
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