Portion size: A qualitative study of consumers’ attitudes toward point-of-purchase interventions aimed at portion size

Department of Health Sciences.he EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Health Education Research (Impact Factor: 1.66). 09/2009; 25(1):109-20. DOI: 10.1093/her/cyp051
Source: PubMed


This qualitative study assessed consumers' opinions of food portion sizes and their attitudes toward portion-size interventions located in various point-of-purchase settings targeting overweight and obese people. Eight semi-structured focus group discussions were conducted with 49 participants. Constructs from the diffusion of innovations theory were included in the interview guide. Each focus group was recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were coded and analyzed with Atlas.ti 5.2 using the framework approach. Results showed that many participants thought that portion sizes of various products have increased during the past decades and are larger than acceptable. The majority also indicated that value for money is important when purchasing and that large portion sizes offer more value for money than small portion sizes. Furthermore, many experienced difficulties with self-regulating the consumption of large portion sizes. Among the portion-size interventions that were discussed, participants had most positive attitudes toward a larger availability of portion sizes and pricing strategies, followed by serving-size labeling. In general, reducing package serving sizes as an intervention strategy to control food intake met resistance. The study concludes that consumers consider interventions consisting of a larger variety of available portion sizes, pricing strategies and serving-size labeling as most acceptable to implement.

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Available from: Willemijn M Vermeer
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    • "schools, restaurants) or pricing strategies are also suggested (Steenhuis et al., 2009). For some foods, recommended serving sizes on food labels are acceptable interventions for consumers (Vermeer et al., 2010) and might be a reliable guide for portion size determination. In the meal planning phase it can also be helpful for consumers to use smaller plates when serving foods and to leave leftovers in the kitchen (Wansink, 2010). "
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