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Appetite. 2009 Jun;52(3):793-6. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.02.015. Epub 2009 Mar 6.

Do calorie-controlled portion sizes of snacks reduce energy intake?

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  • 1Center for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO 80262, United States.


In a cross-over study, participants (n=59) were randomly assigned to receive either 100 kcal packs or standard size packages of snacks for 1 week. After a minimum of a 1-week washout period, participants received the other form of the snack for 1 week. Snack consumption was recorded by participants in a diary. Participants consumed an average of 186.9 fewer grams of snacks per week when receiving 100 kcal snack packs compared to standard size packages of snacks. Post hoc comparisons revealed the effect of package size depended on both randomization order and study week. Total grams of snacks consumed in week 1 differed significantly between the two randomized groups. In week 2, however, grams of snacks did not differ significantly between the two groups. This interaction was primarily due to a significantly lower consumption of snacks from standard size packages in the week following the portion-controlled packages. The results suggest that portion-controlled packaging reduce total intake from the provided snacks. Further, initial exposure to portion-controlled packages might have increased awareness of portion size such that less was consumed when larger packages were available.

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