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Perceived ‘healthiness’ of foods can influence consumers’ estimations of energy density and appropriate portion size

Faulkner, Gemma, Pourshahidi, Kirsty, Wallace, Julie, Kerr, Maeve, McCaffrey, Tracy and Livingstone, Barbara (2014) Perceived ‘healthiness’ of foods can influence consumers’ estimations of energy density and appropriate portion size. International Journal of Obesity, 38 (1). pp. 106-112. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/vaop/naam/pdf/ijo201369a.pdf

DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2013.69


Objectives: To compare portion size (PS) estimates, perceived energy density (ED), and anticipated consumption guilt (ACG) for ‘healthier’ vs ‘standard’ foods.Methods: Three pairs of isoenergy dense (kJ/100 g) foods—‘healthier’ vs ‘standard’ cereals, drinks and coleslaws - were selected. For each food, subjects served an appropriate PS for themselves and estimated its ED. Subjects also rated their ACG about eating the food on a scale of 1 (not at all guilty) to 5 (very guilty).Results: Subjects (n186) estimated larger portions of the ‘healthier’ coleslaw than the “standard” version, and perceived all ‘healthier’ foods to be lower in ED than their ‘standard’ alternatives, despite being isoenergy dense. Higher ACG was associated with the “standard” foods. Portion estimates were generally larger than recommendations and the ED of the foods was underestimated.Conclusions: The larger portions selected for the ‘reduced fat’ food in association with lower perceived ED and ACG, suggests that such nutrition claims could be promoting inappropriate PS selection and consumption behaviour. Consumer education on appropriate portions is warranted to correct such misconceptions.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE)
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:26107
Deposited By: Dr Kirsty Pourshahidi
Deposited On:17 May 2013 10:26
Last Modified:09 May 2016 11:16

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