Water consumed before a meal has been found to reduce energy intake among non-obese older adults. However, it is unknown whether this effect is evident among overweight and obese older adults, a population who would benefit from strategies to improve energy intake regulation. The purpose of the study was to determine whether premeal water consumption reduces meal energy intake in overweight and obese older adults. Twenty-four overweight and obese adults (body mass index=34.3+/-1.2), mean age 61.3+/-1.1 years, were given an ad libitum standardised breakfast meal on two randomly assigned occasions. Thirty minutes before the meal, subjects were given either a 500-mL water preload or no preload. Energy intake at each meal was covertly measured. Meal energy intake was significantly less in the water preload condition as compared with the no preload condition (500+/-32 vs 574+/-38, respectively; P=0.004), representing an approximate 13% reduction in meal energy intake. The percentage reduction in meal energy intake following the water preload was not related to sex, age, body mass index, or habitual daily water consumption (all P>0.05). Given the high prevalence of overweight and obesity among older adults, future studies should determine whether premeal water consumption is an effective long-term weight control strategy for older adults.
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