Poster Topical Area: Obesity

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 664

P23-037 - Effect of a pre-dinner walnut snack on sense of hunger among university students

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objective: Freshman-15 is a phenomenon commonly observed among students enrolled in cafeteria meal plans resulting in weight gain due to new eating patterns. Eating habits established by young people tend to continue into later adulthood and may contribute to obesity. Walnuts are a nutrient dense snack that can improve nutritional health. This study determined if a walnut snack could alter sense of hunger and satiety before and after a subsequent meal.

Healthy students (n=36; age 18-20) received a standard dinner (1760 Calories) with three treatments (90 minutes pre-meal) in a randomized single crossover design: 1) 190 Cal of California Walnuts (CW), 2) 190 Cal of gummi candy (GC), or 3) no snack (NS; control), on three consecutive nights. Visual analog scale (VAS) surveys were administered just before and just after dinner ingestion. Surveys measured sense of hunger, desire to eat, fullness, and intent to eat 30 minutes after study completion. (LSM ± SE).

Pre-meal hunger VAS across treatments was significant (p = 0.0174); CW, GC, and NS were, 7.1 ± 0.3, 7.1 ± 0.3, and 8.1 ± 0.3 (CW<NS; GC>NS). Post-meal hunger was not significant across treatments for CW, GC, and NS, 1.5 ± 0.2, 1.3 ± 0.2, and 1.4 ± 0.2. Pre-meal desire to eat VAS across treatment was significant (p = 0.0101); CW, GC, and NS were, 7.5 ± 0.3, 7.6 ± 0.3, and 8.7 ± 0.3 (CW<NS; GC<NS). Post-meal desire to eat was not significant across treatments for CW, GC, and NS, 1.6 ± 0.2, 1.4 ± 0.2, and 1.5 ± 0.2. Pre-meal fullness VAS across treatment showed significance (p = 0.0002); CW, GC, and NS were, 2.6 ± 0.2, 2.3 ± 0.2, and 1.4 ± 0.2 (CW>NS; GC>NS). Post-meal fullness was not significant across treatments for CW, GC, and NS, 8.3 ± 0.3, 9.0 ± 0.3, and 8.9 ± 0.3. Sense of intent to eat 30 minutes after study completion was not significantly affected by treatment.

Consumption of a CW snack prior to dinner reduced acute perceptions of hunger, desire to eat, and increased sense of fullness, surprisingly GC had similar acute effects in this study. Walnut dependent perceptions of hunger and satiety may influence long term food consumption patterns. This could promote improvements in weight management among students that could carry forward into adult obesity benefits.

Funding Source: California Walnut Commission

CoAuthors: Molly Ahmann – Winona State University; Michelle LaCasse – Winona State University; Mackenzie Weis – Winona State University; Gabrielle Schnellman – Winona State University; Lauren DeVaan – Winona State University; Tisha Hooks – Winona State University; Ted Wilson – Winona State University

Elizabeth M. Gile

Winona State University
Winona, Minnesota