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The effects of nutrition and health claims on the nutrient composition of single and subsequent meal servings

Benson, Tony and Bucher, Tamara and Oughton, Rachel and McCloat, Amanda and Mooney, Elaine and Farrell, Sarah and Dean, Moira (2022) 'The effects of nutrition and health claims on the nutrient composition of single and subsequent meal servings.', Appetite, 176 . p. 106105.

Abstract

Nutrition and health claims (NHCs) can help individuals make better food choices. While NHCs have been found to influence consumer perceptions and consumption, there has been less focus on how claims influence the nutritional composition of servings. There has also been little attention paid to longer term or compensatory effects of claims on subsequent food selection. This manuscript details two studies considering these matters. Study 1 (n = 60) was a within-subjects experiment to measure the impact of NHCs on food selection and nutritional composition at single meal servings. Participants served from three fake food buffet meal stations (breakfast, hot meal, snacks) with NHCs present or absent. Study 2 (n = 55) was a within-subjects experiment to examine the impact of NHCs on food selection and nutritional composition at a subsequent meal. Participants served from a fake food buffet breakfast with or without NHCs followed by a lunch without NHCs. In study 1, while results varied for different meals, the presence of claims was found to significantly reduce the amount of energy, fat, saturated fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and sodium, and increase the amount of protein in meals that were served. Results for fibre were mixed. In addition, NHCs increased the quantity of food served in the snacks condition. There was no evidence of claims at breakfast impacting the nutritional composition of subsequent lunch servings in study 2. Despite claims potentially increasing serving quantities, the nutritional composition of chosen servings was more encouraging and claims may help individuals to meet recommended nutritional daily guidelines. These findings have wider implications in terms of government policy, food reformulation, and the continuing debate around the use of nutrient profiling regulations for products carrying claims.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2022.106105
Publisher statement:© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/4.0/).
Date accepted:30 May 2022
Date deposited:24 June 2022
Date of first online publication:11 June 2022
Date first made open access:24 June 2022

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