True interindividual variability exists in postprandial appetite responses in healthy men but is not moderated by the FTO genotype

Background: After meal ingestion, a series of coordinated hormone responses occur concomitantly with changes in perceived appetite. It is not known whether interindividual variability in appetite exists in response to a meal. Objectives: This study aimed to 1) assess the reproducibility of appetite responses to a meal; 2) quantify individual differences in responses; and 3) explore any moderating influence of the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene. Methods: Using a replicated crossover design, 18 healthy men (mean ± SD 28.5 ± 9.8 years, 27.0 ± 5.0 kg·m-2 ) recruited according to FTO genotype (9 AA, 9 TT) completed two identical control and two identical standardized meal conditions (5025 kJ) in randomized sequences. Perceived appetite and plasma acylated ghrelin, total peptide YY (PYY), insulin and glucose concentrations were measured before and after interventions as primary outcomes. Interindividual differences were explored using Pearson’s product-moment correlations between the first and second replicate of the control-adjusted meal response. Within-participant covariate-adjusted linear mixed models were used to quantify participant by-condition and genotype-by-condition interactions. Results: The meal suppressed acylated ghrelin and appetite perceptions (standardized effect sizes (ES): 0.18-4.26) and elevated total PYY, insulin and glucose (ES: 1.96-21.60). For all variables, SD of change scores was greater in the meal versus control conditions. Moderate-to-large positive correlations were observed between the two replicates of control-adjusted meal responses for all variables (r=0.44-0.86, P≤0.070). Participant-by-condition interactions were present for all variables (P≤0.056). FTO genotype-by-condition interactions were not significant (P≥0.19) and treatment effect differences between genotype groups were small (ES≤0.27) for all appetite parameters. Conclusions: Reproducibility of postprandial appetite responses is generally good. True interindividual variability is present beyond any random within-subject variation in healthy men but is not moderated by the FTO genotype. These findings highlight the 3 importance of exploring individual differences in appetite for the prevention and/or treatment of obesity. Clinical trial registry number: NCT03771690 (