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Koehler, K., Beckford, S. E., Thayer, E., Hubner, S., Martin, A. R., Cristobal, A., Boron, J. B., & Stevens, J. R. (2020). Exercise shifts food choices towards greater amounts and more immediate consumption. Abstract Introduction: Although exercise modulates appetite regulation and food intake, how exercise impacts decision making about food remains poorly understood. The purpose of the present study was to assess the impact of an acute exercise bout on choices related to food amount and timing of food intake. Methods: Forty-one healthy participants (22.0 ± 2.6 years; 23.7 ± 2.5 kg/m2) completed 45 minutes of aerobic exercise or a resting control condition in randomized order. Electronic questionnaires with visual food cues were employed to assess subjective food amount preferences as well as preferences for immediate vs. delayed consumption (intertemporal food preferences). Results: When compared to rest, exercise resulted in a greater increase in the food amount selected for prospective consumption, both immediately after (+25.8 ± 11.0 vs. +7.8 ± 11.0 kcal, p = 0.02) and 30 min after exercise (+47.3 ± 12.4 vs. +21.3 ± 12.4 kcal, p = 0.005). Exercise further resulted in a greater increase in the proportional preference for immediate consumption immediately after (+0.23 ± 0.10 vs. +0.06 ± 0.10; p = 0.03) and 30 min after exercise (+0.30 ± 0.12 vs. +0.08 ± 0.12; p = 0.01). Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that exercise acutely shifts food choices towards greater amounts and an increased preference for more immediate consumption, highlighting the importance of the timing of food choices in the context of exercise. Keywords aerobic exercise, food choice, compensatory eating, food amount
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