Study shows people 'right size' portions of high-calorie foo
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Researchers assessed the influence of food energy density (ED, kcal/g) on energy intake (kcal) across a broad and continuous range of EDs comprised of noncovertly manipulated, real-world meals. They also allowed for the possibility that the association between energy intake and ED is nonlinear. They completed a secondary analysis of 1519 meals that occurred in a controlled environment as part of a study to assess the effects of food ultra-processing on energy intake. To establish the generalizability of the findings, the analyses were repeated in 32,162 meals collected from free-living humans using data from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). Segmented regressions were performed to establish ED “breakpoints” at which the association between consumed meal ED and mean-centered meal caloric intake (kcal) changed. These analyses reveal that, on some level, humans are sensitive to the energy content of meals and adjust meal size to minimize the acute aversive effects of overconsumption.