Quality of meal and appetite sensation

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Purpose of review

The scope of this review is to summarize recent studies assessing the role of meal composition on appetite sensation.

Recent findings

Currently, data confirm a positive effect on appetite sensations following protein-rich meals, suggesting that at least 25–30-g protein/meal provide potential improvements on appetite, but further long-term studies are required to confirm the results. A greater interest has been showed in the interaction between short-chain fatty acids produced by gut microbiota, following dietary fiber consumption, and appetite sensation, but research is ongoing. Finally, as reflected in the recent literature, new systematic reviews should be carried out to assess the effect of dietary fibers on appetite sensation.


Meal composition, in terms of nutrients, widely differs in the ability to affect appetite sensation. This mostly depends on the content of protein and dietary fibers in a meal. The effect of higher protein intake on appetite sensation has been well documented with positive results, whereas dietary fibers, although the majority of evidence suggests positive results, still show inconsistent data because of various methodological approaches. Generally, more research both in the short and long term is required to investigate the underlying mechanism associated with appetite sensation.

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