College of Psychology Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)

Department

Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

Nathan Azrin

Second Advisor

Vincent Van Hasselt

Third Advisor

David Reitman

Keywords

eating, fast, satiation, slow, speed, weight control

Abstract

Although reducing eating rate is frequently advocated for control of food intake, empirical evidence is limited and inconsistent. The present study sought to address the methodological concerns inherent in previous studies that could account for these inconsistent results. In addition, it extended the results of a preliminary study coauthored by this writer (Azrin, Kellen, Brooks, Ehle, & Vinas, 2009) by obtaining two measures of satiation; the subjective sensation of satiation and the objective measure of food eaten. In the present study, 14 male participants consumed two meals, one meal at an instructed fast rate and one meal at an instructed slow rate. Slow eating was accompanied by enhancing the conditioned stimuli associated with eating (time spent chewing and savoring of taste). The meals were eaten on two consecutive days at the same time, in a counterbalanced order, in the participant's natural environment, and were characteristic of each participant's reported typical diet. Participants ate until reaching subjective satiation, i.e., the point at which they felt "comfortably full with no desire to continue eating". Consuming food at a slow rate was found to help participants achieve a greater degree of subjective satiation with comparable amounts of food intake. Participants consumed on average 37% more food when eating fast. These results suggest that slow eating enhances subjective satiation and reduces food consumption; and may constitute an effective means of weight management. A theoretical explanation is suggested as to why previous studies examining the effect of eating rate on satiation have produced inconsistent results.

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