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Can exercise make us less hungry?

Scientists at Loughborough University are investigating whether exercise can make us less hungry as well as helping to burn fat.

Following emerging research that suggests exercise affects appetite, the new INTAKE study aims to discover exactly how physical activity influences what we eat, and its usefulness for weight control. 

To find out, scientists plan to monitor how key appetite regulating hormones are influenced by a single bout of moderate intensity exercise.

Study coordinator Jessica Douglas, a PhD student in Loughborough’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), explains:

“Because exercise is often prescribed as a method for weight management, it’s important to know how it affects what we eat. 

“It could be that exercise provides a double benefit for weight loss by reducing our appetite as well as burning fat. That’s what we’re hoping to find out through the INTAKE study.”

Researchers are looking for healthy, non-smoking volunteers aged 18 to 50 for the four-part study which will be conducted at either Loughborough University or the Leicester Diabetes Centre (part of Leicester General Hospital).

Participants will need to be inactive or moderately active, with a BMI of less than 40. Four visits will be made to the chosen centre, including preliminary and exercise familiarisation visits (both 90 minutes each) plus two trial days of 8.5 hours, one of which will include 60 minutes of continuous walking or running at a moderate intensity.

Meals and refreshments will be provided during test days and travel expenses covered for all visits. Volunteers will receive feedback on their fitness as well as some aspects of their health.

Anyone interested in taking part or finding out more should contact Jessica Douglas on 01509 226352 or email

The INTAKE study is being conducted as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU).

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 14/101

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year title in 2008-09 and has been named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.


Amanda Overend
Public Relations Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224