To snack or not to snack: What should we advise for weight management?

Palmer, Michelle A., Capra, Sandra and Baines, Surinder K. (2011) To snack or not to snack: What should we advise for weight management?. Nutrition & Dietetics, 68 1: 60-64. doi:10.1111/j.1747-0080.2010.01497.x

Author Palmer, Michelle A.
Capra, Sandra
Baines, Surinder K.
Title To snack or not to snack: What should we advise for weight management?
Journal name Nutrition & Dietetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1446-6368
Publication date 2011-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2010.01497.x
Volume 68
Issue 1
Start page 60
End page 64
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Although our current weight management guidelines suggest eating regularly, speculation about whether snacking assists with managing weight occurs widely among the media, weight loss clients and health professionals. We aim to examine whether there is adequate scientific evidence available to support the manipulation of eating frequently for improving body weight, diabetes and cardiovascular risk markers, and theories that link eating frequently with weight management.

Relevant papers from nutrition and dietetics journals and other sources were used to assess the association between eating frequency and weight and health.


Longer-term evidence suggests eating frequency does not affect weight, glucose, insulin control, hunger or energy expenditure in intentional weight losers and maintainers. There is consistent short-term evidence of an inverse association between blood lipid levels and eating frequency during weight maintenance. Many of the common theories that suggest manipulating eating frequency for weight management are not supported by the literature. Sustaining a change to eating frequency also may be challenging over the longer term.

Overall current evidence does not suggest that manipulating eating frequency greatly benefits weight and health. Health professionals may not need to manipulate eating frequency for weight management.
Keyword Body weight
Feeding behaviour
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 13 Mar 2011, 00:06:57 EST