Memories about how satisfying previous meals were also played a causal role in determining how long those meals staved off hunger. “The extent to which a food that can alleviate hunger is not determined solely by its physical size, energy content, and so on,” said Jeff Brunstrom, reader in behavioural nutrition, University of Bristol, Britain, who led the study.
“Instead, it is influenced by prior experience with a food, which affects our beliefs and expectations about satiation.”
In the experiment, participants were shown the ingredients of a fruit smoothie. Half were shown a small portion of fruit and half were shown a large portion.
They were then asked to assess the “expected satiety” of the smoothie and to provide ratings before and three hours after consumption.
Participants who were shown the large portion of fruit reported significantly greater fullness, even though all participants consumed the same smaller quantity of fruit.