Meal induced thermogenesis and appetite : methodological issues and responses to energy restriction

Ruddick-Collins, Leonie (2012) Meal induced thermogenesis and appetite : methodological issues and responses to energy restriction. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Diet Induced Thermogenesis (DIT) is the energy expended consequent to meal consumption, and reflects the energy required for the processing and digestion of food consumed throughout each day. Although DIT is the total energy expended across a day in digestive processes to a number of meals, most studies measure thermogenesis in response to a single meal (Meal Induced Thermogenesis: MIT) as a representation of an individual’s thermogenic response to acute food ingestion. As a component of energy expenditure, DIT may have a contributing role in weight gain and weight loss. While the evidence is inconsistent, research has tended to reveal a suppressed MIT response in obese compared to lean individuals, which identifies individuals with an efficient storage of food energy, hence a greater tendency for weight gain. Appetite is another factor regulating body weight through its influence on energy intake. Preliminary research has shown a potential link between MIT and postprandial appetite as both are responses to food ingestion and have a similar response dependent upon the macronutrient content of food. There is a growing interest in understanding how both MIT and appetite are modified with changes in diet, activity levels and body size. However, the findings from MIT research have been highly inconsistent, potentially due to the vastly divergent protocols used for its measurement. Therefore, the main theme of this thesis was firstly, to address some of the methodological issues associated with measuring MIT. Additionally this thesis aimed to measure postprandial appetite simultaneously to MIT to test for any relationships between these meal-induced variables and to assess changes that occur in MIT and postprandial appetite during periods of energy restriction (ER) and following weight loss. Two separate studies were conducted to achieve these aims.

Based on the increasing prevalence of obesity, it is important to develop accurate methodologies for measuring the components potentially contributing to its development and to understand the variability within these variables. Therefore, the aim of Study One was to establish a protocol for measuring the thermogenic response to a single test meal (MIT), as a representation of DIT across a day. This was done by determining the reproducibility of MIT with a continuous measurement protocol and determining the effect of measurement duration. The benefit of a fixed resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is a single measure of RMR used to calculate each subsequent measure of MIT, compared to separate baseline RMRs, which are separate measures of RMR measured immediately prior to each MIT test meal to calculate each measure of MIT, was also assessed to determine the method with greater reproducibility. Subsidiary aims were to measure postprandial appetite simultaneously to MIT, to determine its reproducibility between days and to assess potential relationships between these two variables. Ten healthy individuals (5 males, 5 females, age = 30.2 ± 7.6 years, BMI = 22.3 ± 1.9 kg/m2, %Fat Mass = 27.6 ± 5.9%) undertook three testing sessions within a 1-4 week time period. During the first visit, participants had their body composition measured using DXA for descriptive purposes, then had an initial 30-minute measure of RMR to familiarise them with the testing and to be used as a fixed baseline for calculating MIT. During the second and third testing sessions, MIT was measured. Measures of RMR and MIT were undertaken using a metabolic cart with a ventilated hood to measure energy expenditure via indirect calorimetry with participants in a semi-reclined position. The procedure on each MIT test day was: 1) a baseline RMR measured for 30 minutes, 2) a 15-minute break in the measure to consume a standard 576 kcal breakfast (54.3% CHO, 14.3% PRO, 31.4% FAT), comprising muesli, milk toast, butter, jam and juice, and 3) six hours of measuring MIT with two, ten-minute breaks at 3 and 4.5 hours for participants to visit the bathroom. On the MIT test days, pre and post breakfast then at 45-minute intervals, participants rated their subjective appetite, alertness and comfort on visual analogue scales (VAS). Prior to each test, participants were required to be fasted for 12 hours, and have undertaken no high intensity physical activity for the previous 48 hours. Despite no significant group changes in the MIT response between days, individual variability was high with an average between-day CV of 33%, which was not significantly improved by the use of a fixed RMR to 31%. The 95% limits of agreements which ranged from 9.9% of energy intake (%EI) to -10.7%EI with the baseline RMRs and between 9.6%EI to -12.4%EI with the fixed RMR, indicated very large changes relative to the size of the average MIT response (MIT 1: 8.4%EI, 13.3%EI; MIT 2: 8.8%EI, 14.7%EI; baseline and fixed RMRs respectively). After just three hours, the between-day CV with the baseline RMR was 26%, which may indicate an enhanced MIT reproducibility with shorter measurement durations. On average, 76, 89, and 96% of the six-hour MIT response was completed within three, four and five hours, respectively. Strong correlations were found between MIT at each of these time points and the total six-hour MIT (range for correlations r = 0.990 to 0.998; P < 0.01). The reproducibility of the proportion of the six-hour MIT completed at 3, 4 and 5 hours was reproducible (between-day CVs ≤ 8.5%). This indicated the suitability to use shorter durations on repeated occasions and a similar percent of the total response to be completed. There was a lack of strong evidence of any relationship between the magnitude of the MIT response and subjective postprandial appetite. Given a six-hour protocol places a considerable burden on participants, these results suggests that a post-meal measurement period of only three hours is sufficient to produce valid information on the metabolic response to a meal. However while there was no mean change in MIT between test days, individual variability was large. Further research is required to better understand which factors best explain the between-day variability in this physiological measure.

With such a high prevalence of obesity, dieting has become a necessity to reduce body weight. However, during periods of ER, metabolic and appetite adaptations can occur which may impede weight loss. Understanding how metabolic and appetite factors change during ER and weight loss is important for designing optimal weight loss protocols. The purpose of Study Two was to measure the changes in the MIT response and subjective postprandial appetite during either continuous (CONT) or intermittent (INT) ER and following post diet energy balance (post-diet EB). Thirty-six obese male participants were randomly assigned to either the CONT (Age = 38.6 ± 7.0 years, weight = 109.8 ± 9.2 kg, % fat mass = 38.2 ± 5.2%) or INT diet groups (Age = 39.1 ± 9.1 years, weight = 107.1 ± 12.5 kg, % fat mass = 39.6 ± 6.8%). The study was divided into three phases: a four-week baseline (BL) phase where participants were provided with a diet to maintain body weight, an ER phase lasting either 16 (CONT) or 30 (INT) weeks, where participants were provided with a diet which supplied 67% of their energy balance requirements to induce weight loss and an eight-week post-diet EB phase, providing a diet to maintain body weight post weight loss. The INT ER phase was delivered as eight, two-week blocks of ER interspersed with two-week blocks designed to achieve weight maintenance. Energy requirements for each phase were predicted based on measured RMR, and adjusted throughout the study to account for changes in RMR. All participants completed MIT and appetite tests during BL and the ER phase. Nine CONT and 15 INT participants completed the post-diet EB MIT and 14 INT and 15 CONT participants completed the post-diet EB appetite tests. The MIT test day protocol was as follows: 1) a baseline RMR measured for 30 minutes, 2) a 15-minute break in the measure to consume a standard breakfast meal (874 kcal, 53.3% CHO, 14.5% PRO, 32.2% FAT), and 3) three hours of measuring MIT. MIT was calculated as the energy expenditure above the pre-meal RMR. Appetite test days were undertaken on a separate day using the same 576 kcal breakfast used in Study One. VAS were used to assess appetite pre and post breakfast, at one hour post breakfast then a further three times at 45-minute intervals. Appetite ratings were calculated for hunger and fullness as both the intra-meal change in appetite and the AUC. The three-hour MIT response at BL, ER and post-diet EB respectively were 5.4 ± 1.4%EI, 5.1 ± 1.3%EI and 5.0 ± 0.8%EI for the CONT group and 4.4 ± 1.0%EI, 4.7 ± 1.0%EI and 4.8 ± 0.8%EI for the INT group. Compared to BL, neither group had significant changes in their MIT response during ER or post-diet EB. There were no significant time by group interactions (p = 0.17) indicating a similar response to ER and post-diet EB in both groups. Contrary to what was hypothesised, there was a significant increase in postprandial AUC fullness in response to ER in both groups (p < 0.05). However, there were no significant changes in any of the other postprandial hunger or fullness variables. Despite no changes in MIT in both the CONT or INT group in response to ER or post-diet EB and only a minor increase in postprandial AUC fullness, the individual changes in MIT and postprandial appetite in response to ER were large. However those with the greatest MIT changes did not have the greatest changes in postprandial appetite. This study shows that postprandial appetite and MIT are unlikely to be altered during ER and are unlikely to hinder weight loss. Additionally, there were no changes in MIT in response to weight loss, indicating that body weight did not influence the magnitude of the MIT response. There were large individual changes in both variables, however further research is required to determine whether these changes were real compensatory changes to ER or simply between-day variation.

Overall, the results of this thesis add to the current literature by showing the large variability of continuous MIT measurements, which make it difficult to compare MIT between groups and in response to diet interventions. This thesis was able to provide evidence to suggest that shorter measures may provide equally valid information about the total MIT response and can therefore be utilised in future research in order to reduce the burden of long measurements durations. This thesis indicates that MIT and postprandial subjective appetite are most likely independent of each other. This thesis also shows that, on average, energy restriction was not associated with compensatory changes in MIT and postprandial appetite that would have impeded weight loss. However, the large inter-individual variability supports the need to examine individual responses in more detail.

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ID Code: 60243
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: King, Neil A., Byrne, Nuala M., & Wood, Rachel E.
Keywords: appetite, diet induced thermogenesis, energy expenditure, energy restriction, fullness, hunger, meal induced thermogenesis, metabolism, obesity, reproducibility, thermic effect of food, weight loss
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 May 2013 02:20
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2015 01:03

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