Does habitual physical activity increase the sensitivity of the appetite control system? A systematic review

BEAULIEU, Kristine, HOPKINS, Mark, BLUNDELL, John and FINLAYSON, Graham (2016). Does habitual physical activity increase the sensitivity of the appetite control system? A systematic review. Sports Medicine, 46 (12), 1897-1919.

Hopkins - 11880.pdf

Download (73kB) | Preview
BeaulieuK-SRR_final%20Does%20habitual%20physical%20activity[2].pdf - Accepted Version
All rights reserved.

Download (402kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Link to published version::


Background: It has been proposed that habitual physical activity (PA) improves appetite control; however the evidence has never been systematically reviewed. Objective: To examine whether appetite control (e.g. subjective appetite, appetite-related peptides, food intake) differs according to levels of PA. Data sources: Medline, Embase and SPORTDiscus were searched for articles published between 1996-2015 using keywords pertaining to PA, appetite, food intake and appetite-related peptides. Study selection: Articles were included if they involved healthy non-smoking adults (18-64 years) participating in cross-sectional studies examining appetite control in active and inactive individuals; or before and after exercise training in previously inactive individuals. Study appraisal and synthesis: Of 77 full-texts assessed, 28 studies (cross-sectional = 14; exercise-training = 14) met the inclusion criteria. Results: Appetite sensations and absolute energy intake did not differ consistently across studies. Active individuals had a greater ability to compensate for high-energy preloads through reductions in energy intake compared to inactive controls. When PA level was graded across cross-sectional studies (low, medium, high, very high), a significant curvilinear effect on energy intake (z-scores) was observed. Limitations: Methodological issues existed concerning the small number of studies, lack of objective quantification of food intake, and various definitions used to define active and inactive individuals. Conclusions: Habitually active individuals showed improved compensation to the energy density of foods, but no consistent differences in appetite or absolute energy intake, compared to inactive individuals. This review supports a J-shaped relationship between PA level and energy intake. Further studies are required to confirm these findings. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42015019696 Key points: • Habitual physical activity and appetite control are not independent of each other; they are inter-connected. • The relationship between physical activity and energy intake is J-shaped. • Objective assessment of all components of energy balance is necessary to improve understanding of this relationship.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1897-1919
Depositing User: Amanda Keeling
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2016 11:14
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 00:43

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics