Oro-sensory exposure, eating rate, satiation and endocrine responses

Greater oro-sensory exposure (OSE) increases insulin responsiveness. In contrast, pancreatic polypeptide responses are stronger when OSE is reduced and the eating rate (ER) is fast. Insulin and PP responses may mediate the independent effects of OSE and ER on food intake. These may be beneficial eating strategies, particularly for type 2 diabetic patients, to control food intake and maintain glucose homeostasis.

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Increased oro-sensory exposure duration decreases meal size, but increases in taste intensity do not affect meal size

Oro-sensory exposure duration and taste intensity were manipulated using model foods. In this Project ‘Satiation’ study, increased oro-sensory exposure duration decreased meal size, and increased taste intensity did not affect meal size. Microstructure of eating behavior characteristics may explain differences in intake.

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Eating when distracted is associated with increased food consumption and is a risk for becoming overweight

Eating when distracted is associated with increased food consumption and is a risk for becoming overweight. Project 'Satiation' found that distraction-induced decreases in neural taste processing contribute to individual differences in the susceptibility for overeating. Being mindful about the taste of food during consumption could perhaps be part of successful prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity.

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Environmental enrichment for pigs

The welfare of farmed pigs can be improved by modifying their environment with bedding, substrates, or objects, so that they can perform more of their pig-specific behaviours. However, scientific knowledge is not necessarily reaching farms.

A recent review published by Heleen van de Weerd and Sarah Ison examines why the industry has not yet fully embraced the benefits of effective enrichment. Read more “Environmental enrichment for pigs”

EU report on alternatives to pig castration

The European Declaration on Alternatives to Surgical Castration of Pigs works towards ending the practice of castration. The voluntary Declaration was signed by meat industry, retailers, scientists, veterinarians and animal welfare NGOs in 2010. Following the Declaration, the European Commission commissioned a study on ‘Establishing best practices on the production, the processing and the marketing of meat from uncastrated pigs or pigs vaccinated against boar taint’. A team of experts, including Dr Heleen van de Weerd, conducted research in a selection of (representative) EU Member States and described the different practices utilised by the industry. The report can be downloaded here.

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Does chewing ability influence cognitive and systemic health during aging?

There is a growing body of literature which suggests that oral health and mastication can influence cognitive and systemic health during aging. However, it is currently unclear whether oral health, masticatory efficiency, cognitive health and systemic health merely deteriorate independently with age, or whether mechanisms exist linking mastication to cognitive and systemic health directly. In a recent paper published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, Jon Day and colleagues review the extent to which reduced mastication influences cognitive and systemic health during aging.

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