The study, funded by a grant from the California Raisin Marketing Board, was conducted among 26 normal-weight boys and girls ages 8 - 11 during a three-month timeframe. Study participants were randomly assigned to eat raisins or other snacks, including grapes, potato chips or chocolate chip cookies, until they were comfortably full. Additionally, each child received the same standardized breakfast, morning snack and lunch on test days. Subjective appetite was measured before and immediately after snack consumption at 15-minute intervals. Key study findings include:
- Food intake following raisin consumption was lower and satiation greater compared to the other snacks
- When eating raisins, children consumed significantly fewer calories when compared to the other snacks in the study
- Grapes, potato chips and cookies resulted in ~ 56 percent, 70 percent and 108 percent higher calorie intake compared to raisins, respectively
- Cumulative calorie intake (breakfast + morning snack + lunch + after-school snack) was 10 percent -19 percent lower after raisins compared to other snacks
- Although all snacks reduced subjective appetite, desire-to-eat was lowest after consuming raisins
"To our knowledge, this is the first controlled study that looks at after-school snacking and satiety among children," said Anderson. "We found consumption of raisins as a snack prevented excessive calorie intake, increased the feeling of fullness, and thereby may help contribute to the maintenance of a healthy weight in school-age children."