British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

The level of carbonation of a sugar-sweetened beverage preload affects satiety and short-term energy and food intakes

S. Anne Moorheada1, M. Barbara E. Livingstonea1, Adrian Dunnea2 and Robert W. Welcha1 c1

a1 Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK

a2 School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Republic of Ireland


The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with increased incidence of overweight and obesity, and a factor underlying this putative link could be the relatively low levels of satiety that may be induced by these beverages. Although many sugar-sweetened beverages are carbonated, little attention has been given to the potential effects of level of carbonation on satiety and subsequent intakes. We hypothesized that increasing the level of carbonation in a sugar-sweetened beverage would increase satiety and decrease intakes in the short term. Using a randomized, within-subject cross-over design, thirty non-obese subjects (fifteen women, fifteen men) participated on three occasions, 1 week apart. Following a standard breakfast, subjects consumed a beverage preload 10 min before consuming a lunch ad libitum. Preloads were the same sugar-sweetened beverage (400 ml, 639 kJ) with three levels of carbonation, which were low (1·7 volumes), medium (2·5 volumes) and high (3·7 volumes). Satiety was assessed using visual analogue scales and intakes were measured at the lunch and for the rest of the day. Compared with the beverage with low carbonation, consumption of the beverages with medium and high carbonation led to significantly (P < 0·05) higher satiety until lunch, when intakes of food and energy were significantly (P < 0·05) lower. There were no significant effects on satiety following lunch or on intakes for the rest of the day. This short-term study suggests that the level of carbonation may need to be taken into account when assessing potential effects of beverages on satiety and intake.

(Received July 26 2007)

(Revised October 23 2007)

(Accepted October 24 2007)

(Online publication December 17 2007)


c1 Corresponding author: Robert W. Welch, fax +44 28 7032 4965, email


Abbreviations: VAS, visual analogue scale