Can’t start the day without your coffee? Is that a bad thing? Studies have shown thatcoffee has a large number of protective health benefits, such as reducing the risks ofdiabetes, stroke, some forms of cancer, mental illness, and overall mortality. But how doesit affect your appetite?

That is the question being asked by PhD candidate Matt Schubert and AssociateProfessor Ben Desbrow from Griffith University’s Centre for Health PracticeInnovation.

“Anecdotally, people have reported feeling less hungry after consuming a coffee, andsome people prefer to have coffee instead of breakfast,” Mr Schubert says.

“However,when you observe what people pair with their coffees in a coffee shop setting, you seeconsumption of high-fat, sweet foods. What we want to explore is whether there is an
effect of coffee on food preference and what the implications of this might be for weightcontrol.”

Research trials underway

To examine this, research participants are undertaking four trials where they are providedwith two coffee beverages, one with a breakfast meal and another two hours later.

Over 4-5 hours (breakfast to lunch) the researchers then periodically assess perceptions ofhunger, fullness, and liking and wanting of particular foods to examine appetite responses.

“So far, we’re seeing a decrease in hunger and increase in fullness in the caffeinatedcoffee condition, a trend we’re not observing with decaffeinated coffee or caffeine alone for some individuals,” says Mr Schubert. “This may be important for weight control, asany decrease in appetite could help reduce food intake.

“If you experience a decrease in energy intake, while maintaining or increasing energyexpended through exercise and movement, you could use this strategy to assist with
maintaining a healthy body weight.”

The researchers are currently recruiting participants for this ongoing study.To become involved, participation requires that you are healthy, between 18-45 years old,non-smoking, and have no chronic diseases or special diet.

For more information contact Matt Schubert on email [email protected] or 0468747 627.