Here is a link to the PDF of the study.
The thing that might be interesting to parents is the chart on page 3 comparing weight gains. Initially Rats were fed either a standard diet or one high in fat, and the high fat rats gained weight faster. Then both groups of rats were switched to high fat chow. Rats on both initial diets gained weight, but rats on a standard diet switched to a high fat diet gained weight much faster then rats that were consistently fed the high fat diet.
There is a lot here that I find interesting about the effects of messing with the sensory properties of food and its effects on appetite. And that is totally research I support, I don't think we understand enough about how our experience of food effects our digestion of the food, the way our bodies use the nutrients after digestion on a cellular level, or the way this all might effect hunger and other experiences.
The Abstract is
The use of food products designed to mimic the sensory properties of sweet and fat while providing fewer
calories has been promoted as a method for reducing food intake and body weight. However, such products
may interfere with a learned relationship between the sensory properties of food and the caloric consequences
of consuming those foods. In the present experiment, we examined whether use of the fat substitute, olestra,
affect energy balance by comparing the effects of consuming high-fat, high-calorie potato chips to the effects
of consuming potato chips that sometimes signaled high calories (using high-fat potato chips) and that
sometimes signaled lower calories (using nonfat potato chips manufactured with the fat substitute olestra).
Food intake, body weight gain and adiposity were greater for rats that consumed both the high-calorie chips
and the low-calorie chips with olestra compared to rats that consumed consuming only the high-calorie chips,
but only if animals were also consuming a chow diet that was high in fat and calories. However, rats
previously exposed to both the high- and low-calorie chips exhibited increased body weight gain, food intake
and adiposity when they were subsequently provided with a high fat, high calorie chow diet suggesting that
experience with the chips containing olestra affected the ability to predict high calories based on the sensory
properties of fat. These results extend the generality of previous findings that interfering with a predictive
relationship between sensory properties of foods and calories may contribute to dysregulation of energy
balance, overweight and obesity.