According to recent World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, 47 percent of adults worldwide are either overweight or obese. Food manufacturers have long recognised their role in providing options to consumers looking to control their calorie intake, extending product lines to offer calorie-reduced foods. These foods may be a part of the solution for this group but, as research shows, cutting calories is only one part of the equation. Another is tackling the reason why so many weight reduction diets end in failure … hunger. Products designed to alleviate hunger or provide satiety can further support consumers dissatisfied with the taste of “diet" foods.
The ability of a food to keep hunger at bay by establishing the feeling of fullness—or satiety—discourages further energy intake and can lead to a greater feeling of satisfaction. Both fibre and protein support weight management through this property, which is core to a successful weight management product.
A new category of food and beverage products is emerging, positioned to minimise hunger between meals, reducing the desire to eat and resulting in lower energy intake. The advantage of the delivering fibre and protein in these products is that consumers can immediately feel a tangible benefit – a sustained feeling of fullness that discourages snacking and reduces energy intake in a subsequent meal. This, along with calorie-reducing low sugar and fat levels, can help consumers toward the desired weight loss.
Published clinical studies have examined the impact of dietary supplementation with polydextrose (as Litesse® from DuPont Nutrition & Health) on satiety. In each one, the impact of the fibre on satiety was measured, with the overall conclusion that Litesse is effective from a dose of 6.25 g and up. In addition, Litesse was shown to demonstrate a dose-dependent influence on short-term energy intake and may be a beneficial ingredient in weight management products developed for reduced energy intake.
Research has demonstrated that both Litesse polydextrose and DuPont’s SUPRO® soy protein have been shown to reduce short-term energy intake and stimulate release of satiety hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).
It is well established that dietary protein supports short-term satiety, as well as long-term effects on body composition. Evidence suggests that high protein diets help preserve fat-free mass or muscle during weight loss, which in turn, improves the metabolic profile of dieters. High-quality lean soy protein was shown to support greater reductions (compared to casein) in abdominal fat mass during a 3-month weight maintenance program. While soy protein is on par with other high-quality proteins in producing satiety and promoting weight loss, it offers the unique advantage of helping reduce coronary heart disease risk as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Several meta-analyses, summarising dozens of human studies of soy protein, have been published affirming the cholesterol-reducing properties of soy protein.
Next Frontier of Research
DuPont is exploring possibilities to use probiotics or probiotic-prebiotic combinations to encourage the growth of alternative gut microbiota that are less likely to result in obesity or help maintain a healthy weight. Early research in this area shows real promise.
Hongwei Wang, Ph.D., will be speaking at Vitafoods Asia about Weight Management on Wednesday 1 September, and on Digestive Health Friday 2 September.
Hongwei Wang, Ph.D., is applied nutrition manager, DuPont Nutrition & Health, China. Wang graduated from Peking University Health Science Center in 2002. He obtained his doctoral degree in nutrition and food hygiene from Chinese CDC in 2006, and another in human nutrition from University of Groningen, The Netherlands in 2010. Wang’s research interests include the effect of nutrition on chronic diseases, colon fermentation and early life nutrition. He has published more than 10 peer-reviewed papers and contributed chapters to several books.