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Oatmeal for breakfast might mean a lighter lunch, says Quaker Oats — but how about some numbers to back it up?

CHICAGO, IL, August 19, 2015 – A new study revealed that your cereal choice at breakfast might have an impact on how much you eat for lunch. Newly published research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that a hearty bowl of instant oatmeal helped curb food intake at lunch better than a leading oat-based, cold cereal — even when each bowl provided the same number of calories.

The statistically significant results of the randomized, controlled crossover study (n=47) showed that a 250-calorie instant oatmeal serving (with an additional 113 calories of skim milk) enhanced satiety and feelings of fullness, reduced the desire to eat and may even lead to a lower caloric intake at lunch, compared to a 250-calorie serving of cold, oat-based cereal, also served with an additional 113 calories of skim milk.

“The satiety benefits of instant oatmeal alone were important findings,” remarked lead author Candida Rebello, MS, RD, of Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. “When we took it a step further and evaluated the intake four hours post-breakfast, we found that after consuming instant oatmeal, the participants chose to eat significantly less at lunch compared to those who ate the oat-based, cold cereal.”

After an analysis of the types of fiber in each cereal, the researchers suspected that the higher molecular viscosity of the beta-glucan in the instant oatmeal contributed to its satiating effect over the oat-based, cold cereal. Authors stated that the processing of the cold cereal might lead to changes in the oat fiber that reduced its ability to enhance satiety.

Researchers presented the participants with a lunch meal of their choice – turkey, ham, roast beef or vegetable patty sandwiches and a calorie-free or calorie-containing beverage, alongside potato crisps and cookies. The lunches offered ranged from 2,600 to 2,800 calories and participants were told to “eat to satisfaction.” Total calorie intake was significantly lower following consumption of instant oatmeal compared to the cold cereal, as were fat and protein intake. Grams of carbohydrate and total weight of the foods were not significantly different.

“The recent 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee Report emphasized the importance of eating breakfast for all Americans – and we know that instant oatmeal is a popular and convenient choice,” comments Marianne O’Shea, PhD, Director of the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence. “The fact that choosing instant oatmeal over a cold cereal may also help Americans curb their intake at lunch is especially encouraging.”

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About the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence

The Quaker Oats Center of Excellence is focused on elevating the relevance and benefits of oats through science, agriculture and innovation. For more information, visit the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence at www.QuakerOats.com.

About the Quaker Oats Company

The Quaker Oats Company, headquartered in Chicago, is a unit of PepsiCo, Inc., one of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies. For more than 130 years, Quaker’s brands have served as symbols of quality, great taste and nutrition. Holding leadership positions in their respective categories, Quaker® Oats, Quaker® Rice Cakes and Quaker Chewy® Granola Bars are consumer favorites. For more information, please visit www.QuakerOats.com, www.Facebook.com/Quaker or follow us on Twitter @Quaker.

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $66 billion in net revenue in 2013, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth in shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages, from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

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Rating

2 Star

Instant oatmeal for breakfast may help curb your appetite at lunch

Our Review Summary

oatmealIn what appears to be a showdown between two PepsiCo products — Quaker instant oatmeal and Honey Nut Cheerios — instant oatmeal made people feel fuller after breakfast and led to them eat less at lunch in a small study. But the key findings are never quantified. How much more full did the oatmeal eaters feel and how much less did they eat at the lunch? We’re told that calorie intake was “significantly lower” in this group, but this is a statistical term — was the result meaningful in terms of helping people maintain a healthy bodyweight?

 

Why This Matters

It’s not difficult to imagine how this news release could be picked up by various news media and nutrition-related blogs, many of which will suggest benefits from Quaker instant oatmeal and other products containing beta-glucan — the type of fiber that researchers suggest is responsible for the findings that were observed. Describing what those benefits were, using data from the actual study, can help journalists, bloggers, and readers understand whether the benefits were real and meaningful.

Criteria

Does the news release adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Applicable

While the cost per serving of Quaker instant oatmeal versus Honey Nut Cheerios (the brands studied) might be similar, it still would be worth noting as the news release is attempting to make the case that an instant oatmeal breakfast will lead to less caloric intake at lunch. Nevertheless, we’ll rate this Not Applicable since most readers have at least a rough idea of what these products cost.

Does the news release adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The release talks about two types of benefits. “Satiety,” meaning how full people felt after eating oatmeal, and how much they actually ate after eating oatmeal. It says, “The satiety benefits of instant oatmeal alone were important findings,” And it says that “Total calorie intake was significantly lower following consumption of instant oatmeal compared to the cold cereal.” Neither of these benefits are quantified.

Does the news release adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Applicable

Direct harm from consumption of these products isn’t likely, so we’ll rate this Not Applicable. However, the study itself does note that a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios has a lot more sugar than unsweetened oatmeal. In fact, one serving had about 20 grams, which is nearly as much as some experts say women should eat in an entire day.

Does the news release seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

The release talks about “The statistically significant results of the randomized, controlled crossover study” and even provides the number of people studied: “(n=47).” It names the journal where the study was published. But it contains no discussion of possible limitations to the research. The study itself names two such possibilities:

The main limitation of this study was that the macronutrient composition of the cereals was not matched; hence, it is possible that differences in the protein and sugar content, although insignificant in their individual effects, may have exerted a cumulative effect on satiety. Further, it is possible that prior perceptions about the satiating properties of the cereals may have influenced the results.

We’d add that if a study/news release is going to claim that a certain intervention affects hunger and satiety, it’s not sufficient to simply track calories consumed at the next meal. Clinical experience from working with thousands of patients on improving their satiety suggests that morning choices will often have an impact on afternoon and evening calories as well.

Does the news release commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

No disease-mongering of hunger or obesity.

Does the news release identify funding sources & disclose conflicts of interest?

Not Satisfactory

The funding sources for the study are not made clear in the release, nor does the release tell us that the study researchers included PepsiCo employees. The journal article discloses all of this information so it would have been easy enough to find and include.

Does the news release compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

The study is ostensibly a head-to-head comparison of instant oatmeal and cold cereal. But there is no context provided in the release as to whether the purported benefits of oatmeal for breakfast are any better than other foods, including even other brands of the same types of foods. There has been a lot of research into the role of fiber-containing foods in controlling hunger and promoting weight loss — but the release doesn’t get into any of that research.

Does the news release establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The release, by naming the brand of oatmeal studied, makes it clear that it is available. Few people will not have heard of Quaker instant oatmeal.

Does the news release establish the true novelty of the approach?

Not Satisfactory

The release doesn’t establish what is novel about this research, nor does it allude to a previous, very similar study that this experiment was meant to improve upon. How does this study advance the field or differ from other research on fiber?

Does the news release include unjustifiable, sensational language, including in the quotes of researchers?

Satisfactory

There was nothing out of bounds about the language used in the release.

Total Score: 3 of 8 Satisfactory

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