Wilson, T., L.S. DeVaan, M.E. LaCasse, E.M. Gile, M.J. Weis, M.D. Ahmann, G.I. Schnellman, M.T. Lenz, T.L. Hooks, 2022. Effect of walnut predinner snack on mealtime hunger and nutrient intake among university students. J Medicinal Food. 25(1):89–96. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2021.0092
Freshman-15 is a phenomenon of first-year university students resulting in weight gain partly due to new cafeteria eating patterns and stress. This study determined if a premeal walnut snack alters planned eating behavior and mealtime nutrient intake during a subsequent buffet-model meal. Healthy university students (n = 36; 18.1 ± 0.5 years; body mass index: 23.6 ± 3.9) received three treatments (90 min premeal) in randomized order on 3 consecutive days: (1) snack of 190 Cal (1 oz) of walnuts (WS), (2) snack of 190 Cal of gummy candy (GS), or (3) no snack (NS; control) before a standard cafeteria dinner (1760 Cal). Visual analog scale (VAS) surveys were administered before and after dinner, and caloric intake was determined. Premeal VAS desire to eat was lower after WS and GS than NS, whereas the sense of hunger and sense of fullness were higher after WS and GS compared with NS. Postmeal VAS was not different between treatments. Mealtime calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, protein, sodium, fiber, and sugar consumed after WS were significantly less than NS. Total fat and sodium consumed after GS did not significantly differ from NS. Mealtime total fat, sodium, and fiber for WS were significantly less than GC, and a trend was observed for total calories. Differences in calorie intake were not observed between treatments when snack calories were included as part of the mealtime caloric intake. These findings could be helpful for promoting WS and to a lesser degree GS for increased satiety before meals possibly leading to reduced food intake during dinner by university students.