Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Effects of eating with an augmented fork with vibrotactile feedback on eating rate and body weight: a randomized controlled trial
Hermsen, Sander ; Mars, Monica ; Higgs, Suzanne ; Frost, Jeana H. ; Hermans, Roel C.J. - \ 2019
International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity 16 (2019)1. - ISSN 1479-5868 - 1 p.
Eating rate - Feedback - Randomized controlled trial - Sensory - Weight loss

BACKGROUND: Eating rate is a basic determinant of appetite regulation: people who eat more slowly feel sated earlier and eat less. A high eating rate contributes to overeating and potentially to weight gain. Previous studies showed that an augmented fork that delivers real-time feedback on eating rate is a potentially effective intervention to decrease eating rate in naturalistic settings. This study assessed the impact of using the augmented fork during a 15-week period on eating rate and body weight. METHODS: In a parallel randomized controlled trial, 141 participants with overweight (age: 49.2 ± 12.3 y; BMI: 31.5 ± 4.48 kg/m2) were randomized to intervention groups (VFC, n = 51 or VFC+, n = 44) or control group (NFC, n = 46). First, we measured bite rate and success ratio on five consecutive days with the augmented fork without feedback (T1). The intervention groups (VFC, VFC+) then used the same fork, but now received vibrotactile feedback when they ate more than one bite per 10 s. Participants in VFC+ had additional access to a web portal with visual feedback. In the control group (NFC), participants ate with the fork without either feedback. The intervention period lasted four weeks, followed by a week of measurements only (T2) and another measurement week after eight weeks (T3). Body weight was assessed at T1, T2, and T3. RESULTS: Participants in VFC and VFC+ had a lower bite rate (p < .01) and higher success ratio (p < .0001) than those in NFC at T2. This effect persisted at T3. In both intervention groups participants lost more weight than those in the control group at T2 (p < .02), with no rebound at T3. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study indicate that an augmented fork with vibrotactile feedback is a viable tool to reduce eating rate in naturalistic settings. Further investigation may confirm that the augmented fork could support long-term weight loss strategies. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The research reported in this manuscript was registered on 4 November 2015 in the Netherlands Trial Register with number NL5432 ( ).

The effect of real-time vibrotactile feedback delivered through an augmented fork on eating rate, satiation, and food intake
Hermans, Roel C.J. ; Hermsen, Sander ; Robinson, Eric ; Higgs, Suzanne ; Mars, Monica ; Frost, Jeana H. - \ 2017
Appetite 113 (2017). - ISSN 0195-6663 - p. 7 - 13.
Digital technology - Eating rate - Food intake - Satiety - Vibrotactile feedback
Eating rate is a basic determinant of appetite regulation, as people who eat more slowly feel sated earlier and eat less. Without assistance, eating rate is difficult to modify due to its automatic nature. In the current study, participants used an augmented fork that aimed to decelerate their rate of eating. A total of 114 participants were randomly assigned to the Feedback Condition (FC), in which they received vibrotactile feedback from their fork when eating too fast (i.e., taking more than one bite per 10 s), or a Non-Feedback Condition (NFC). Participants in the FC took fewer bites per minute than did those in the NFC. Participants in the FC also had a higher success ratio, indicating that they had significantly more bites outside the designated time interval of 10 s than did participants in the NFC. A slower eating rate, however, did not lead to a significant reduction in the amount of food consumed or level of satiation. These findings indicate that real-time vibrotactile feedback delivered through an augmented fork is capable of reducing eating rate, but there is no evidence from this study that this reduction in eating rate is translated into an increase in satiation or reduction in food consumption. Overall, this study shows that real-time vibrotactile feedback may be a viable tool in interventions that aim to reduce eating rate. The long-term effectiveness of this form of feedback on satiation and food consumption, however, awaits further investigation.
Does low-energy sweetener consumption affect energy intake and body weight? A systematic review, including meta-analyses, of the evidence from human and animal studies
Rogers, P.J. ; Hogenkamp, P.S. ; Graaf, Kees de; Higgs, S. ; Lluch, A. ; Ness, A.R. ; Penfold, C. ; Perry, R. ; Putz, P. ; Yeomans, M.R. ; Mela, D.J. - \ 2016
International Journal of Obesity 40 (2016)3. - ISSN 0307-0565 - p. 381 - 394.

By reducing energy density, low-energy sweeteners (LES) might be expected to reduce energy intake (EI) and body weight (BW). To assess the totality of the evidence testing the null hypothesis that LES exposure (versus sugars or unsweetened alternatives) has no effect on EI or BW, we conducted a systematic review of relevant studies in animals and humans consuming LES with ad libitum access to food energy. In 62 of 90 animal studies exposure to LES did not affect or decreased BW. Of 28 reporting increased BW, 19 compared LES with glucose exposure using a specific 'learning' paradigm. Twelve prospective cohort studies in humans reported inconsistent associations between LES use and body mass index (-0.002 kg m - 2 per year, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.009 to 0.005). Meta-analysis of short-term randomized controlled trials (129 comparisons) showed reduced total EI for LES versus sugar-sweetened food or beverage consumption before an ad libitum meal (-94 kcal, 95% CI -122 to -66), with no difference versus water (-2 kcal, 95% CI -30 to 26). This was consistent with EI results from sustained intervention randomized controlled trials (10 comparisons). Meta-analysis of sustained intervention randomized controlled trials (4 weeks to 40 months) showed that consumption of LES versus sugar led to relatively reduced BW (nine comparisons; -1.35 kg, 95% CI -2.28 to -0.42), and a similar relative reduction in BW versus water (three comparisons; -1.24 kg, 95% CI -2.22 to -0.26). Most animal studies did not mimic LES consumption by humans, and reverse causation may influence the results of prospective cohort studies. The preponderance of evidence from all human randomized controlled trials indicates that LES do not increase EI or BW, whether compared with caloric or non-caloric (for example, water) control conditions. Overall, the balance of evidence indicates that use of LES in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced EI and BW, and possibly also when compared with water.

Evaluation of a Smart Fork to Decelerate Eating Rate
Hermsen, Sander ; Frost, Jeana H. ; Robinson, Eric ; Higgs, Suzanne ; Mars, Monica ; Hermans, Roel C.J. - \ 2016
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 116 (2016)7. - ISSN 2212-2672 - p. 1066 - 1067.
Overweight is associated with a range of negative health consequences, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and premature mortality.1 One means to combat overweight is through encouraging people to eat more slowly.2 People who eat quickly tend to consume more3, 4 and 5 and have a higher body mass index,6, 7, 8 and 9 whereas people who eat more slowly feel sated earlier and eat less.10, 11, 12 and 13. Unfortunately, eating rate is difficult to modify, because of its highly automatic nature.14 In clinical settings, researchers have had some success changing behavior by using devices that deliver feedback in real time.15, 16 and 17 However, existing technologies are either too cumbersome18 or not engaging enough19 for use in daily life contexts. Training people to eat more slowly in everyday eating contexts, therefore, requires creative and engaging solutions. This article presents a qualitative evaluation of the feasibility of a smart fork to decelerate eating rate in daily life contexts. Furthermore, we outline the planned research to test the efficacy of this device in both laboratory and community settings
The emergence of enlightened anthropocentrism in ecological resoration
Keulartz, J. - \ 2012
Nature and Culture 7 (2012)1. - ISSN 1558-6073 - p. 48 - 71.
ecosystem services - changing environment - crowded planet - biodiversity - conservation - management - sustainability - millennium - invasions - paradigm
Over the past decade a shift can be noticed from ecological restoration to ecological design, where ecological design stands for a technocratic approach that courts hubris and mastery rather than humility and self-restraint. Following Eric Higgs, this shift can be seen as a “hyperactive and heedless response“ to global environmental change, especially climate change. The new technocratic approach may be best characterized as enlightened (or prudential) anthropocentrism, where nature is only allowed that degree of agency which is required to deliver the services that are essential for human well-being. It is not only questionable if we have the scientific and technical abilities to purposeful design ecosystems that will serve our needs, but also if the new approach will be sufficient to protect biodiversity in the long run.
Opportunities and Challenges for Ecological Restoration within REDD+
Alexander, S. ; Nelson, C.R. ; Aronson, J. ; Lamb, D. ; Cliquet, A. ; Erwin, K. ; Finlayson, C.M. ; Groot, R.S. de; Harris, J.A. ; Higgs, E.S. ; Hobbs, R.J. ; Robin Lewis, R.R. ; Martinez, D. ; Murcia, C. - \ 2011
Restoration Ecology 19 (2011)6. - ISSN 1061-2971 - p. 683 - 689.
carbon emissions - plantations - forests - lands - deforestation - services - fire
The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism has the potential to provide the developing nations with significant funding for forest restoration activities that contribute to climate change mitigation, sustainable management, and carbon-stock enhancement. In order to stimulate and inform discussion on the role of ecological restoration within REDD+, we outline opportunities for and challenges to using science-based restoration projects and programs to meet REDD+ goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon in forest ecosystems. Now that the REDD+ mechanism, which is not yet operational, has expanded beyond a sole focus on activities that affect carbon budgets to also include those that enhance ecosystem services and deliver other co-benefits to biodiversity and communities, forest restoration could play an increasingly important role. However, in many nations, there is a lack of practical tools and guidance for implementing effective restoration projects and programs that will sequester carbon and at the same time improve the integrity and resilience of forest ecosystems. Restoration scientists and practitioners should continue to engage with potential REDD+ donors and recipients to ensure that funding is targeted at projects and programs with ecologically sound designs
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