The impact of the covert manipulation of macronutrient intake on energy intake and the variability in daily food intake in nonobese men

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the effect of macronutrient composition on ad libitum food intake in nonobese men.

Design:

Balanced, incomplete-block, crossover study where subjects received two of three treatments. Macronutrient composition was manipulated by providing 2.1 MJ/day high-carbohydrate (CHO), high-fat (FAT), and/or high-protein (PRO) drinks every day over the course of two, 8-week periods.

Subjects:

In all, 12 healthy normal weight men (age: 39±9 years, BMI: 24.1±1.4 kg/m2).

Measurements:

Ad libitum food intake was measured continuously for 16 weeks at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC). Body composition (DEXA) and body weight were also measured.

Results:

Average energy intake (EI) during weeks 1 and 2 was lower for CHO than FAT (P<0.05), but this effect disappeared by week 3. EI during CHO increased by 11% from week 1 to 8 through the increased selection of carbohydrate and protein-containing foods, but not fat foods. Food intake was variable, both between and within subjects, but was not related to macronutrient composition.

Conclusion:

EI appears to be influenced by macronutrient composition in the short-term when diets are modified, but the effect dissipates in a few weeks if the diet is maintained. These data suggest the presence of macronutrient-specific regulatory mechanisms in the body, but do not support the notion that a high intake of any of the three macronutrients suppresses EI over a prolonged period of time. The high variability in food intake does not appear to be related to macronutrient composition.

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