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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 May-Jun;44(3):251-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.07.007. Epub 2012 Mar 3.

"Split them!" smaller item sizes of cookies lead to a decrease in energy intake in children.

Author information

1
Social Psychology Unit, Free University of Brussels, Bruxelles, Belgium. dmarchio@ulb.ac.be

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Examine the influence of altering the size of snack food (ie, small vs large cookies) on short-term energy intake.

METHODS:

First- and sixth-graders (n = 77) participated in a between-subjects experimental design. All participants were offered the same gram weight of cookies during an afternoon tea at their school. For half of the participants, food was cut in 2 to make the small item size. Food intake (number of cookies, gram weight, and energy intake) was examined using ANOVA.

RESULTS:

Decreasing the item size of food led to a decrease of 25% in gram weight intake, corresponding to 68 kcal. Appetitive ratings and subject and food characteristics had no moderating effect.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Reducing the item size of food could prove a useful dietary prevention strategy based on decreased consumption, aimed at countering obesity-promoting eating behaviors favored by the easy availability of large food portions.

PMID:
22391143
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2011.07.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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