Consumer reflections on post-ingestive sensations. A qualitative approach by means of focus group interviews

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Obesity is a growing problem. Insights into satiety and other post-ingestive sensations may be important in understanding influential factors in our eating behaviour. The purpose of this research study was to explore beyond satiety and gain a better understanding of the umbrella term ‘Post-ingestive sensations’, this from a consumer point-of-view. In the present study, ‘Post-ingestive sensations’ are defined as ‘the subjective perceptions of the body after eating’. The research aims to explore and understand consumers' reflections on post-ingestive sensations. We analyse results from four focus group interviews consisting of 30 consumers in total varying in gender, age and Body Mass Index (BMI). Data was analysed using thematic analysis of qualitative data. Results include consumers' retrospective reports of post-ingestive sensations which are analysed into four key themes being: 1) Energy sensations, 2) Satiety sensations, 3) Wellbeing, 4) Desires. Within Energy sensations, consumers differentiated between two sub-groups of sensations, namely sensations related to a positive general energy level and sensations related to a negative low energy level. Satiety sensations comprised typical satiety and extreme satiety, each described differently by the consumers. Sensations related to extreme satiety were in general more detectable than typical satiety sensations. Wellbeing was broadly summarised as ‘feeling good’ and included mainly positive sensations such as sensing pleasure and joy after eating. Desires would typically be for something more or something else than just consumed. The umbrella term ‘Post-ingestive sensations’ is demonstrated to be multifaceted with numerous aspects seen from the consumer's perspective. Post-ingestive sensations function as important parameters in understanding the full consumer experience, and results could be applied in real eating contexts to study further implications and importance in food choice and eating behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104350
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Consumer, Focus group, Food, Post-ingestive sensation, Qualitative, Satiety

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