"Split Them!" Smaller Item Sizes of Cookies Lead to a Decrease in Energy Intake in Children

Social Psychology Unit, Free University of Brussels, Bruxelles, Belgium.
Journal of nutrition education and behavior (Impact Factor: 1.36). 03/2012; 44(3):251-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.07.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Examine the influence of altering the size of snack food (ie, small vs large cookies) on short-term energy intake.
First- and sixth-graders (n = 77) participated in a between-subjects experimental design. All participants were offered the same gram weight of cookies during an afternoon tea at their school. For half of the participants, food was cut in 2 to make the small item size. Food intake (number of cookies, gram weight, and energy intake) was examined using ANOVA.
Decreasing the item size of food led to a decrease of 25% in gram weight intake, corresponding to 68 kcal. Appetitive ratings and subject and food characteristics had no moderating effect.
Reducing the item size of food could prove a useful dietary prevention strategy based on decreased consumption, aimed at countering obesity-promoting eating behaviors favored by the easy availability of large food portions.

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