Reproducibility of subjective appetite ratings and ad libitum test meal energy intake in overweight and obese males

Horner, Katy M., Byrne, Nuala M., & King, Neil A. (2014) Reproducibility of subjective appetite ratings and ad libitum test meal energy intake in overweight and obese males. Appetite, 81, pp. 116-122.

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To determine whether changes in appetite and energy intake (EI) can be detected and play a role in the effectiveness of interventions, it is necessary to identify their variability under normal conditions. We assessed the reproducibility of subjective appetite ratings and ad libitum test meal EI after a standardised pre-load in overweight and obese males.


Fifteen overweight and obese males (BMI 30.3 ± 4.9 kg/m2, aged 34.9 ± 10.6 years) completed two identical test days, 7 days apart. Participants were provided with a standardised fixed breakfast (1676 kJ) and 5 h later an ad libitum pasta lunch. An electronic appetite rating system was used to assess subjective ratings before and after the fixed breakfast, and periodically during the postprandial period. EI was assessed at the ad libitum lunch meal. Sample size estimates for paired design studies were calculated.


Appetite ratings demonstrated a consistent oscillating pattern between test days, and were more reproducible for mean postprandial than fasting ratings. The correlation between ad libitum EI on the two test days was r = 0.78 (P < 0.01). Using a paired design and a power of 0.8, a minimum of 12 participants would be needed to detect a 10 mm change in 5 h postprandial mean ratings and 17 to detect a 500 kJ difference in ad libitum EI.


Intra-individual variability of appetite and ad libitum test meal EI in overweight and obese males is comparable to previous reports in normal weight adults. Sample size requirements for studies vary depending on the parameter of interest and sensitivity needed.

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ID Code: 77889
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Ad libitum energy intake, reproducibility, appetite, obesity, test meal, ivsual analogue scales
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.06.025
ISSN: 0195-6663
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier
Deposited On: 21 Oct 2014 02:01
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 05:21

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