Satiety: The New Diet Weapon
Losing weight -- for good - may be about creatively managing hunger
By Leanna Skarnulis
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
There's nothing new about taking in fewer calories to lose weight. What is new in fighting the battle of the bulge is a diet weapon that reduces calorie intake by managing hunger.
It's called "satiety." Not exactly a word that rolls off your tongue (pronounced "sa-TIE-atee"). It's a diet and nutrition buzzword for the state of feeling full, one word in a new vocabulary that includes terms like "energy density," "sensory-specific satiety," and "volumetrics."
If you've ever wondered why you fill up on a bowl of oatmeal but can eat three doughnuts before feeling satisfied, the reason is the comparative satiety levels of these foods. Susanna Holt, PhD, developed a satiety index, reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Taking 240-calorie portions of popular foods, she ranks them according to how they compare with a slice of white bread, which carries a rank of 100. Oatmeal has a high satiety level at 209, while a doughnut's rank is 68. Interestingly, a 240-calorie serving of boiled potatoes rank highest at 323, but French fries score just 116.