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Comparing the imagined consumption of sweet and savoury food on sensory-specific satiety

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  • T. Andersen, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • ,
  • D. V. Byrne
  • Q. J. Wang, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Repeated imagined consumption of food has become an intriguing and novel means to reduce, and thereby manage, appetite. However, it is thus far unknown how the sensory-specific satiation derived from imagined consumption transfers from food of one taste to another. This work presents two online studies (n = 748). The first study was a follow-up on a previous series of experiments on sweet food, now investigating sensory-specific appetite responses to savoury food. Participants were randomly assigned to imagine the consumption of depicted food items for either 3 or 30 trials, with appetite being assessed before and after the experimental manipulation. Akin to the previous experiments, savoury-specific appetite increased after 3 trials and showed no change (compared to baseline) after 30 trials. However, none of the two conditions had a statistically significant effect on general appetite. The second study compared the satiation transferability between 30 trials of imagined consumption of sweet to savoury food and vice versa. The data indicated that satiating on sweet food may transfer more readily to savoury food than the other way around. Collectively, these studies suggest that, in the context of imagined consumption, sweet and savoury food are equivalent in modulating the respective taste-specific appetites, while sweet food has a higher capacity to modulate general appetite as well as the appetite for food not consumed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104930
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

    Research areas

  • Grounded cognition, Habituation, Mental imagery, Priming, Sensitization, Sensory-specific satiety

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