Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991 Mar;45(3):161-9.Links
Influence of the feeding frequency on nutrient utilization in man: consequences for energy metabolism.
Verboeket-van de Venne WP, Westerterp KR.
Department of Human Biology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
A study was conducted to investigate whether there is a diurnal pattern of nutrient utilization in man and how this is affected by meal frequency to explain possible consequences of meal frequency for body weight regulation. When the daily energy intake is consumed in a small number of large meals, there is an increased chance to become overweight, possibly by an elevated lipogenesis (fat synthesis and accumulation) or storage of energy after the meal. Thirteen subjects, two males and eleven females, were fed to energy balance in two meals per day (gorging pattern) and seven meals per day (nibbling pattern) over 2-day intervals. On the second day on each feeding regimen, the diurnal pattern of nutrient utilization was calculated from simultaneous measurements of oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and urinary nitrogen excretion over 3 h intervals in a respiration chamber. A gorging pattern of energy intake resulted in a stronger diurnal periodicity of nutrient utilization, compared to a nibbling pattern. However, there were no consequences for the total 24 h energy expenditure (24 h EE) of the two feeding patterns (5.57 +/- 0.16 kJ/min for the gorging pattern; 5.44 +/- 0.18 kJ/min for the nibbling pattern). Concerning the periodicity of nutrient utilization, protein oxidation during the day did not change between the two feeding patterns. In the gorging pattern, carbohydrate oxidation was significantly elevated during the interval following the first meal (ie from 1200 h to 1500 h, P less than 0.01) and the second meal (ie from 1800 h to 2100 h, P less than 0.05). The decreased rate of carbohydrate oxidation observed during the fasting period (from rising in the morning until the first meal at 1200 h), was compensated by an increased fat oxidation from 0900 to 1200 h to cover energy needs. In the nibbling pattern, carbohydrate and fat oxidation remained relatively constant during the active hours of the day.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Apr;25(4):519-28.Links
Compared with nibbling, neither gorging nor a morning fast affect short-term energy balance in obese patients in a chamber calorimeter.
Taylor MA, Garrow JS.
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, King's College London, London, UK.
OBJECTIVE: To test if a diet of 4.2 MJ/24 h as six isocaloric meals would result in a lower subsequent energy intake, or greater energy output than (a) 4.2 MJ/24 h as two isocaloric meals or (b) a morning fast followed by free access to food. DESIGN: Subjects were confined to the Metabolic Unit from 19:00 h on day 1 to 09:30 h on day 6. Each day they had a fixed diet providing 4.2 MJ with three pairs of meal patterns which were offered in random sequence. They were: six meals vs two meals without access to additional foods (6vs2), or six meals vs 2 meals with access to additional food (6+vs2+), or six meals vs four meals (6+vsAMFAST). In the AMFAST condition the first two meals of the day were omitted to reduce daily intake to 2.8 MJ and to create a morning fast, but additional food was accessible thereafter. Patients were confined in the chamber calorimeter from 19:00 h on day 2 until 09:00 h on day 4, and then from 19:00 h on day 4 to 09:00 h on day 6. The order in which each meal pattern was offered was balanced over time. MEASUREMENTS: Energy expenditure (chamber calorimetry), spontaneous activity (video) and energy intake (where additional foods were available) during the final 24 h of each dietary component. SUBJECTS: Ten (6vs2), eight (6+vs2+) and eight (6+vsAMFAST) women were recruited who had a BMI of greater than 25 kg/m2. RESULTS: From experiment 6vs2 the difference between energy expenditure with six meals (10.00 MJ) and two meals (9.96 MJ) was not significant (P=0.88). Energy expenditure between 23:00 h and 08:00 h ('night') was, however, significantly higher (P=0.02) with two meals (9.12 MJ/24 h) compared with six meals (8.34 MJ/24 h). The pattern of spontaneous physical activity did not differ significantly between these two meal patterns (P>0.05). Total energy intake was affected by neither meal frequency in experiment 6+vs2+ (10.75 MJ with six, 11.08 MJ with two; P=0.58) nor a morning fast in experiment 6+vsAMFAST (8.55 MJ/24 h with six, 7.60 MJ with AMFAST; P=0.40). The total diet of subjects who had a morning fast tended to have a lower percentage of total energy from carbohydrate (40%) than when they had six meals per 24 h (49%) (P=0.05). Subsequent energy balance was affected by neither meal frequency (6vs2; P=0.88, 6+vs2+; P=0.50) nor a morning fast (P=0.18). CONCLUSIONS: In the short term, meal frequency and a period of fasting have no major impact on energy intake or expenditure but energy expenditure is delayed with a lower meal frequency compared with a higher meal frequency. This might be attributed to the thermogenic effect of food continuing into the night when a later, larger meal is given. A morning fast resulted in a diet which tended to have a lower percentage of energy from carbohydrate than with no fast.
Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun;99(6):1316-21. Epub 2007 Dec 6. Links
Acute effects on metabolism and appetite profile of one meal difference in the lower range of meal frequency.
Smeets AJ, Westerterp-Plantenga MS.
Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org
A gorging pattern of food intake has been shown to enhance lipogenesis and increase body weight, which may be due to large fluctuations in storage and mobilisation of nutrients. In a state of energy balance, increasing meal frequency, and thereby decreasing inter-meal interval, may prevent large metabolic fluctuations. Our aim was to study the effect of the inter-meal interval by dividing energy intake over two or three meals on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation and 24 h satiety, in healthy, normal-weight women in a state of energy balance. The study was a randomised crossover design with two experimental conditions. During the two experimental conditions subjects (fourteen normal-weight women, aged 24.4 (SD 7.1) years, underwent 36 h sessions in energy balance in a respiration chamber for measurements of energy expenditure and substrate oxidation. The subjects were given two (breakfast, dinner) or three (breakfast, lunch, dinner) meals per d. We chose to omit lunch in the two meals condition, because this resulted in a marked difference in inter-meal-interval after breakfast (8.5 h v. 4 h). Eating three meals compared with two meals had no effects on 24 h energy expenditure, diet-induced thermogenesis, activity-induced energy expenditure and sleeping metabolic rate. Eating three meals compared with two meals increased 24 h fat oxidation, but decreased the amount of fat oxidised from the breakfast. The same amount of energy divided over three meals compared with over two meals increased satiety feelings over 24 h. In healthy, normal-weight women, decreasing the inter-meal interval sustains satiety, particularly during the day, and sustains fat oxidation, particularly during the night.
PMID: 18053311 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Br J Nutr. 1997 Apr;77 Suppl 1:S57-70. Links
Meal frequency and energy balance.
Bellisle F, McDevitt R, Prentice AM.
INSERM U341, Hotel Dieu de Paris, France.
Several epidemiological studies have observed an inverse relationship between people's habitual frequency of eating and body weight, leading to the suggestion that a 'nibbling' meal pattern may help in the avoidance of obesity. A review of all pertinent studies shows that, although many fail to find any significant relationship, the relationship is consistently inverse in those that do observe a relationship. However, this finding is highly vulnerable to the probable confounding effects of post hoc changes in dietary patterns as a consequence of weight gain and to dietary under-reporting which undoubtedly invalidates some of the studies. We conclude that the epidemiological evidence is at best very weak, and almost certainly represents an artefact. A detailed review of the possible mechanistic explanations for a metabolic advantage of nibbling meal patterns failed to reveal significant benefits in respect of energy expenditure. Although some short-term studies suggest that the thermic effect of feeding is higher when an isoenergetic test load is divided into multiple small meals, other studies refute this, and most are neutral. More importantly, studies using whole-body calorimetry and doubly-labelled water to assess total 24 h energy expenditure find no difference between nibbling and gorging. Finally, with the exception of a single study, there is no evidence that weight loss on hypoenergetic regimens is altered by meal frequency. We conclude that any effects of meal pattern on the regulation of body weight are likely to be mediated through effects on the food intake side of the energy balance equation.
PMID: 9155494 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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