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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 Mar-Apr;44(2):178-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2010.02.006. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

The influence of labeling the vegetable content of snack food on children's taste preferences: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Department of Animal, Nutrition, and Food Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA. efpope@uvm.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This pilot study examined whether informing children of the presence of vegetables in select snack food items alters taste preference.

METHODS:

A random sample of 68 elementary and middle school children tasted identical pairs of 3 snack food items containing vegetables. In each pair, 1 sample's label included the food's vegetable (eg, broccoli gingerbread spice cake), and 1 sample's label did not (eg, gingerbread spice cake). Participants reported whether the samples tasted the same, or whether they preferred one sample. Frequency of vegetable consumption was also assessed.

RESULTS:

Taste preferences did not differ for the labeled versus the unlabeled sample of zucchini chocolate chip bread, χ(2) (2, n = 68) = 3.21, P = .20 or broccoli gingerbread spice cake χ(2) (2, n = 68) = 2.15, P = .34. However, students preferred the unlabeled cookies (ie, chocolate chip cookies) over the vegetable-labeled version (ie, chickpea chocolate chip cookies), χ(2) = (2, n = 68) 9.21, P = .01. Chickpeas were consumed less frequently (81% had not tried in past year) as compared to zucchini and broccoli.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Informing children of the presence of vegetables hidden within snack food may or may not alter taste preference and may depend on the frequency of prior exposure to the vegetable.

PMID:
21256811
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2010.02.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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