New Research Shows Popcorn Outsmarts Chocolate in Curbing Snack Cravings

Apr 27, 2010, 08:00 ET from ConAgra Foods

Latest Findings Presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology Conference

EDINA, Minn., April 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ConAgra Foods announced today new research that shows eating a filling but calorie-controlled snack, such as Orville Redenbacher's® 94 percent fat-free SmartPop!® popcorn, will leave you feeling fuller and less hungry than snacking on the same caloric amount of milk chocolate. A ConAgra Foods research team led the study, which was presented yesterday at the Experimental Biology Conference (April 24 - 28, 2010), in Anaheim, Calif., attended by roughly 13,000 scientists.

The study found that participants who ate a 100-calorie portion of Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! popcorn versus two nuggets of milk chocolate (also 100 calories) were significantly less hungry and more full, had less desire for a second snack, and were more satisfied with the amount of food after eating the popcorn.

"We know that feeling hungry is a barrier to weight loss. Our findings show that low-fat popcorn is a smart snack choice for managing weight because it helps people feel less hungry and more satisfied. SmartPop! popcorn also has the benefit of being 100 percent whole grain and an excellent source of fiber," said Kristin Reimers, PhD, Nutrition Manager, ConAgra Foods.

There were 49 female participants in the study, aged 20 to 50 years old, with a BMI between 18 and 25 (normal weight). All participants followed the same consumption protocol in a controlled testing facility. After an overnight fast, they arrived at the testing facility, ate a controlled breakfast, and then ate a snack 3.5 hours after breakfast. Participants' fullness levels were approximately 40 percent higher 30 minutes after snacking on popcorn versus after eating chocolate.

The popcorn versus chocolate study is part of ongoing research showing that low-fat popcorn is a smart snack choice for weight management. In April 2009, a similar study found that subjects who ate up to six cups of low-fat popcorn (100 calories) 30 minutes before lunch consumed the same amount of total calories from the popcorn snack and a subsequent meal, as those who consumed only water before the meal. In contrast, when subjects ate a cup of potato chips (150 calories) before the meal, they ate significantly more total calories including the meal. In other words, eating a popcorn snack before a meal curbed hunger without increasing total caloric intake.

Both studies used Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! popcorn, which is 100 percent whole grain and 94 percent fat-free. It comes in either full-sized or 100-calorie bags to further help you manage your caloric intake. SmartPop! popcorn contains zero grams of trans fat and zero milligrams of cholesterol. Additionally, whole grains support heart health, and previous research has shown that popcorn consumers get more than twice the amount of whole grains as is typical in the U.S. diet, plus 20 percent more total fiber. As an added bonus, Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn pops up lighter and fluffier than ordinary popcorn. For more information about Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! popcorn, visit  

Orville Redenbacher's®, a brand of ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's leading food companies, with brands in 96 percent of America's households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip and many ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at

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Regina DeMars

ConAgra Foods


Katie Yates



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