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Appetite. 2013 Mar;62:203-8. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 May 14.

Contingent choice. Exploring the relationship between sweetened beverages and vegetable consumption.

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Lundquist College of Business, 1208 University of Oregon, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1208, USA.


Adults and children are repeatedly exposed to the pairing of food and drink as found in meal deals and "combos". There may arise from this indoctrination, a contingent relationship between drink context and food preference. Our multi-method research examines food and drink combining. A survey-based study examines the food and drink pairing preferences of adults (N=60), while a laboratory study with young children (N=75, aged three to five) examines the role of drink context on vegetable consumption. The adult survey finds strong food and drink combining preferences. The pairing of soft drinks with calorie dense foods is regarded favorably, while the pairing of soft drinks with vegetables is not. In child food trials, vegetable consumption is not influenced by the child's fussiness but is influenced by the drink accompaniment. In limited contexts, these findings demonstrate the contingent relationship between drink context and food consumption. Both palate preference and associative learning may be mechanisms driving the effects of drink context on food consumption. The findings suggest simple consumer strategies that might be employed to change dietary patterns (e.g., drink water with meals), and hold straightforward policy implications (e.g., increase water as the default option in meal deals).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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