Scientists Tackle Foods That Claim to ‘Keep You Fuller for Longer’

We might feel fuller, but eating foods marketed for "fullness" won't prevent us from consuming more calories, even when we're not hungry. 


There are foods you can eat to keep you fuller, longer. These foods are often touted as aids in weight loss: eat this product and you won't feel the need to eat anymore. How valid is that? Researchers from the University of Sheffield say these foods may curb your hunger, but it won’t prevent you from eating just to eat.

“The food industry is littered with products which are marketed on the basis of their appetite-modifying properties,” said lead researcher of this new study, Dr. Bernard Corfe. “Whilst these claims may be true, they shouldn’t be extended to imply that energy intake will be reduced as a result.”

“For example, you could eat a meal which claims to satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full-up for a long period of time but nonetheless go on to consume a large amount of calories later on.”

Certain foods are digested more slowly, like eggs, avocados, and legumes, which will help keep you feeling fuller, longer. But to suggest it’s a weight-loss solution, which will prevent people from indulging later on, might be a stretch. We’ve all just eaten to eat; whether we indulge that impulse is another thing. 

The study, published in Food Science and Nutrition journal, was a review of 462 papers to see if self-reported hunger levels could be a reliable predictor of calorie consumption. Upon examination of this collected data, researchers found “appetite scores failed to correspond with energy intake in 51.3% of the total studies” and “only 6% of all studies evaluated here reported a direct statistical comparison between appetite scores and energy intake.”

Dr. Corfe says that what drives us to eat isn’t just about one factor. He even told Munchies in an interview: “Appetite is a part of that equation, but our work suggests it may not be the most important part, not by a long way.” Environmental, social, and behavioral drives must be examined, as well.

“This will be important to understand how obesity occurs, how to prevent it, and how we need to work in partnership with the food industry to develop improved tests for foods that are genuinely and effectively able to satisfy appetite,” Dr. Corfe said.

Perhaps the best way to be truly healthy is to eat with a focus on brain health, as nutritional psychiatrist Dr Drew Ramsey recommends:

Related Articles

Why Japan's hikikomori isolate themselves from others for years

These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.

700,000 Japanese people are thought to be hikikomori, modern-day hermits who never leave their apartments (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images).
Mind & Brain
  • A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
  • This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
  • Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less