Faster eating has been identified as a risk factor for obesity and the current study tested whether eating rate is consistent within an individual and linked to energy intake across multiple meals. Measures of ad libitum
intake, eating rate, and oral processing at the same or similar test meal were recorded on four non-consecutive days for 146 participants (117 male, 29 female) recruited across four separate studies. All the meals were video recorded, and oral processing behaviours were derived through behavioural coding. Eating behaviours showed good to excellent consistency across the meals (intra-class correlation coefficients > 0.76, p
< 0.001) and participants who ate faster took larger bites (β
≥ 0.39, p
< 0.001) and consistently consumed more energy, independent of meal palatability, sex, body composition and reported appetite (β
≥ 0.17, p
≤ 0.025). Importantly, eating faster at one meal predicted faster eating and increased energy intake at subsequent meals (β
> 0.20, p
< 0.05). Faster eating is relatively consistent within individuals and is predictive of faster eating and increased energy intake at subsequent similar meals consumed in a laboratory context, independent of individual differences in body composition.
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