Combating Excessive Eating: A Role for Four Evidence‐Based Remedies

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Review the control of energy balance and outline some causes of and remedies for excessive energy intake.

Methods: Narrative review.

Results: There is negative feedback control of energy intake and body weight, but nonetheless energy intake is only loosely coupled with energy expenditure. Consequently, we are vulnerable to eating in excess of energy requirements. In this context, energy density, portion size and habitual meal patterns have strong influences on energy intake, and accordingly can be targeted to reduce energy intake. For example, energy density can be reduced without much affecting food reward (approximately the pleasure gained from eating), because their relationship is such that reward value is affected relatively little by increments in energy density above 1.5 kcal/g. This and other strategies that increase reward per calorie eaten may be superior to increasing the satiety effect of products because fullness is not inherently rewarding. Low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) provide a means to reduce energy density whilst largely preserving food or beverage reward value. Consistent with this, consumption of LCS compared with consumption of sugars has been found to reduce energy intake and body weight.

Conclusions: Understanding what causes excessive eating also provides insights into how to combat this problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S18-S24
Number of pages7
Issue numberS3
Early online date5 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Special Issue: Low‐Calorie Sweeteners and Weight Management

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Nutrition and Behaviour
  • Physical and Mental Health


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