Food and Behaviour Research

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Effects of single plant-based vs. animal-based meals on satiety and mood in real-world smartphone-embedded studies

Medawar E, Zedler M, Biasi L, Villringer A, Witte V (2023) NPJ, Science of Food 7, Article number: 1 

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Adopting plant-based diets high in fiber may reduce global warming and obesity prevalence. Physiological and psychological determinants of plant-based food intake remain unclear. As fiber has been linked with improved gut-brain signaling, we hypothesized that a single plant-based (vegetarian and vegan) compared to an animal-based (animal flesh) meal, would induce higher satiety, higher mood and less stress.

In three large-scale smartphone-based studies, adults (
all = 16,379) ranked satiety and mood before and after meal intake. Meal intake induced satiety and higher mood. Plant-based meal choices did not explain differences in post-meal hunger. Individuals choosing a plant-based meal reported slightly higher mood before and smaller mood increases after the meal compared to those choosing animal-based meals.

Protein content marginally mediated post-meal satiety, while gender and taste ratings had a strong effect on satiety and mood in general. We could not detect the profound effects of plant-based vs. animal-based meals on satiety and mood.


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