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Health Policy. 2009 Apr;90(1):73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2008.07.006. Epub 2008 Aug 31.

From the point-of-purchase perspective: a qualitative study of the feasibility of interventions aimed at portion-size.

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Institute for Health Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Food portion-sizes might be a promising starting point for interventions targeting obesity. The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess how representatives of point-of-purchase settings perceived the feasibility of interventions aimed at portion-size.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 representatives of various point-of-purchase settings. Constructs derived from the diffusion of innovations theory were incorporated into the interview guide. Each interview was recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were coded and analysed with Atlas.ti 5.2 using the framework approach.


According to the participants, offering a larger variety of portion-sizes had the most relative advantages, and reducing portions was the most disadvantageous. The participants also considered portion-size reduction and linear pricing of portion-sizes to be risky. Lastly, a larger variety of portion-sizes, pricing strategies and portion-size labelling were seen as the most complex interventions. In general, participants considered offering a larger variety of portion-sizes, portion-size labelling and, to a lesser extent, pricing strategies with respect to portion-sizes as most feasible to implement.


Interventions aimed at portion-size were seen as innovative by most participants. Developing adequate communication strategies about portion-size interventions with both decision-makers in point-of-purchase settings and the general public is crucial for successful implementation.

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