Influence of eating schedule on the postprandial response: Gender differences

Marcela Masihy, Hugo Monrroy, Giulio Borghi, Teodora Pribic, Carmen Galan, Adoracion Nieto, Anna Accarino, Fernando Azpiroz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

5 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Ingestion of a meal induces conscious sensations depending of the characteristics of the meal and the predisposition of the eater. We hypothesized that the eating schedule plays a conditioning role, specifically, that an extemporaneous meal is less rewarding than when eaten at the habitual schedule. We conducted a randomized parallel trial in 10 women and 10 men comparing the responses to a consistent savoury lunch-type meal (stewed beans) eaten at the habitual afternoon schedule or at an unconventional time in the morning. Schedule and gender differences were analyzed by repeated measures analysis of covariance. In women, the sensory experience induced by the probe meal, particularly postprandial satisfaction, was weaker when eaten at an unconventional time for breakfast. Men were resilient to the schedule effect and experienced the same sensations regardless of the timing of ingestion; the effect of the eating schedule was significantly more pronounced in women for fullness (F(1,55) = 14.9; p < 0.001), digestive well-being (F(1,36.8) = 22.3; p < 0.001), mood (F(1,12.4) = 13.8; p < 0.001), and anxiety (F(1,11.9) = 10.9; p = 0.001). No differences in the physiological responses induced by the afternoon and morning meals were detected either in women or men. Our data indicate that women are more susceptible to changes in meal schedule than men.
Original languageEnglish
Article number401
Issue number401
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Eating habits
  • Gender differences
  • Hedonic response
  • Homeostatic responses
  • Meal ingestion
  • Meal schedule
  • Postprandial sensations


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