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The present research aimed to investigate the impact of the physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE) front-of-pack label on consumption, prospective consumption and liking of familiar and unfamiliar discretionary snack foods.
In a within-subject randomised design, participants tasted and rated liking (9-point hedonic scale) and prospective consumption (9-point category scale) of four different snack foods with four different labels (i.e. blank, fake, PACE, PACE doubled) and four control snack foods. The twenty snack foods were presented during two 45 min sessions (i.e. ten snack foods per session) which were separated by one week. The amount participants sampled of each snack food was measured.
The study was conducted in the Centre for Advanced Sensory Sciences laboratory at Deakin University, Australia.
The participants were 153 university students (126 females, twenty-seven males, mean age 24·3 (sd 4·9) years) currently enrolled in an undergraduate nutrition degree at Deakin University.
When the PACE label was present on familiar snack foods, participants sampled 9·9 % (22·8 (sem 1·4) v. 25·3 (sem 1·5) g, P=0·03) less than when such label was not present. This was in line with a decreased prospective snack food consumption of 9·1 % (3·0 (sem 0·2) v. 3·3 (sem 0·2) servings, P=0·03). Such pattern was not seen in unfamiliar snacks.
The PACE label appears to be a promising way to decrease familiar discretionary snack food consumption in young, health-minded participants.
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