Children’s familiarity with snack foods changes expectations about fullness

Hardman, Charlotte A, McCrickerd, Keri and Brunstrom, Jeffrey M (2011) Children’s familiarity with snack foods changes expectations about fullness. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 94 (5). pp. 1196-1201. ISSN 0002-9165

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Background: Palatability is regarded as a major determinant of children’s energy intake. However, few studies have considered nonhedonic beliefs about foods. In adults, there is emerging evidence that expectations about the satiating properties of foods are an important determinant of meal size, and these beliefs are learned.

Objective: We measured and quantified children’s expected satiation across energy-dense snack foods by using a method of adjustment. Participants changed a comparison-food portion (pasta and tomato sauce) to match the satiation that they expected from a snack food. We predicted that children who were especially familiar with snack foods would expect the foods to generate greater satiation and that children who were unfamiliar with snack foods would match expected satiation on the basis of the physical characteristics (perceived volume) of the foods.

Design: Seventy 11- to 12-y-old children completed measures of expected satiation, perceived volume, familiarity, and liking across 6 snack foods.

Results: As anticipated, familiarity and expected satiation were positively related (r = 0.37, P = 0.002), and this association remained after liking was controlled for. Furthermore, expected satiation and perceived-volume judgments were more dissimilar as familiarity with the foods increased.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight the role of learning in shaping children’s beliefs about the postingestive effects of the consumption of foods; children who ate the foods more often expected them to deliver greater satiation. Furthermore, our findings suggest that, in the absence of prior experience, children rely on a food’s physical
characteristics (a less-complex strategy) when they judge expected satiation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Keri McCrickerd
Date Deposited: 14 May 2013 11:56
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 21:09

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