BOSTON – Eating oatmeal for breakfast enhanced feelings of fullness and helped curb hunger to a significantly greater extent when compared to eating an oat-based, ready-to-eat cereal in a study funded by the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence, PepsiCo R.&D. Nutrition. The researched was presented at Experimental Biology 2013 held April 21-24 in Boston.

“Our research builds on previous studies that show oatmeal can help extend feelings of fullness and suppress the desire to eat for several hours,” said Candida Rebello, a registered dietitian at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. “Oats and oatmeal may play a role in helping consumers overcome environmental cues that stimulate hunger.”

The randomized, controlled crossover investigation involved 47 adults who completed two breakfast trials in random order at least a week apart. Each breakfast consisted of either 250 calories of instant oatmeal or 250 calories of R.-T.-E. cereal served with 113 calories of lactose-free milk. After eating breakfast, the people had their satiety measures assessed at 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours and 4 hours. The people then were given lunch and told they could eat as much or as little as they wanted.

After eating oatmeal, people reported increases in overall fullness, as well as stomach fullness, and reductions in hunger and the desire to eat. The people who ate oatmeal for breakfast consumed 85 fewer calories at lunch than the people who ate R.-T.-E. cereal for breakfast. The people who ate oatmeal for breakfast also chose low-fat options at lunch.

From analyzing the types of fiber in each breakfast, the researchers said the beta-glucan oat fiber in the oatmeal had a higher molecular weight and viscosity than the beta-glucan in the R.-T.-E. cereal.

“The oatmeal beta-glucan is superior at affecting appetite, possibly by delaying the gastric emptying or through other actions in the intestinal tract,” said Frank Greenway, M.D., of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and lead author of the study. “This suggests that eating oatmeal at breakfast may help us better control our calorie intake.”