As a result of the increasing incidence of overweight and obesity, along with escalating health care costs associated with weight-related illnesses (e.g., type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease), prevention and reduction of overweight and obesity is a major public health priority (1,2). In particular, there is heightened interest in dietary strategies to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The influence of the macronutrient composition of the diet on appetite control, daily food intake, and weight control has received recent attention, not only by the mainstream media, but also by healthcare professionals, researchers, and industry. Specific emphasis has been placed on increased protein intake for improvements in appetite control, through increased satiety, and better body weight management (3-9).
According to a recent survey, two-thirds of American consumers said that it was extremely important that a food or beverage makes them feel satiated/full (10). This was particularly important to consumers trying to lose weight. Over half of those surveyed agreed that protein-rich foods are the best at satisfying hunger. This Digest reviews recent research examining the effects of protein-induced meal-related and daily satiety during short-term and longer-term energy balanced and energy restricted weight loss studies, proposed mechanisms, and the benefits of dairy proteins on satiety.
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