Location: Healthy Body Weight ResearchTitle: The relative reinforcing value of sweet versus savory snack foods after consumption of sugar- or non-nutritive-sweetened beverages
Submitted to: Appetite
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/21/2017
Publication Date: 1/23/2017
Citation: Casperson, S.L., Johnson, L., Roemmich, J.N. 2017. The relative reinforcing value of sweet versus savory snack foods after consumption of sugar- or non-nutritive-sweetened beverages. Appetite. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2017.01.028.
Interpretive Summary: The effects of sugary and “diet” drinks on the regulation of appetite, energy intake and body weight regulation remain controversial. Therefore, we had participants drink 1.5 cups of a sugary or diet drink with a meal. We measured their satiety and desire to eat foods that taste sweet or savory before the meal and every 30 minutes after they finished eating for 4 hours. Then, using a computer-based choice game we determined relative reinforcing value of sweet (e.g. candy) and savory (e.g. chips) snack foods. We found that the type of drink did not influence measures of satiety or the desire to eat sweet or savory foods. However, the candy was more reinforcing after drinking the diet drink than after drinking the sugary drink. This is the first study to show that people are willing to work harder to gain access to sweet snacks relative to savory snack foods later in the day when they drink a diet drink with their meal.
Technical Abstract: The effects of sugar-sweetened (SSB) and non-nutritive sweetened (NSB) beverages on the regulation of appetite, energy intake and body weight regulation remain controversial. Using a behavioral choice paradigm, we sought to determine the effects of consuming a SSB or NSB on appetite and the reinforcing value of sweet relative to salty/savory snack foods. In a randomized crossover study, 21 healthy weight adults consumed 360 ml of SSB (sucrose; 31g) or NSB (sucralose; 4g) with a standardized meal. Hedonic ratings for the sweet and salty/savory snack foods used for the reinforcement task were assessed prior to the start of the study. Satiety and the desire to eat foods with a specific taste profile were assessed before and every 30 minutes post-meal for 4h. The relative reinforcing value of the snack foods was assessed using a computer-based choice task (operant responding with concurrent schedules of reinforcement) 4h post-meal. Hedonic ratings did not differ between the most highly liked sweet and salty/savory snack foods. Beverage type did not influence measures of satiety or the desire to eat foods with a specific taste. However, sweet snacks were more (p < 0.05) reinforcing relative to salty/savory snack after consuming a NSB than after consuming a SSB. In conclusion, this is the first study to demonstrate that NSB can increase the motivation to gain access to sweet snacks relative to salty/savory snack foods later in the day.