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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.
To determine the diet quality of a group of young adults and explore its associations with two food-related behaviours (involvement in meal preparation and consumption of commercially prepared meals).
Cross-sectional study of young adults. Sample characteristics, food-related behaviours and dietary intake were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire including an FFQ. Diet quality was measured using the fifteen-item Dietary Guideline Index (DGI) designed to assess adherence to Australian dietary guidelines. One-way ANOVA, t tests and multiple linear regression analyses were used to explore the relationships between DGI scores, sample characteristics and food-related behaviours.
University students enrolled in an undergraduate nutrition class, Melbourne, Australia.
Students (n 309) aged 18–36 years.
The DGI score was normally distributed, with a mean score of 93·4 (sd 17·1) points (range 51·9–127·4 points), out of a possible score of 150 points. In multivariate analyses adjusted for age, sex, nationality, BMI and maternal education, cooking meals for oneself was positively associated with DGI score (β = 0·15; 95 % CI 1·15, 10·03; P = 0·01); frequency of takeaway and frequency of convenience meal consumption were inversely associated with DGI score (β = −0·21; 95 % CI −9·96, −2·32; P = 0·002 and β = −0·16; 95 % CI −7·40, −0·97; P < 0·01, respectively).
Cooking meals for oneself was linked to higher diet quality among young adults, while consumption of commercially prepared meals was associated with poorer diet quality. Maintaining education programmes that promote cooking skills within young adults has the potential to improve DGI scores.
To investigate the effect of front-of-pack labels on taste perception and use of table salt for currently available and sodium-reduced soups.
Participants (n 50, mean age 34·8 (sd 13·6) years) were randomly served nine soups (250 ml each) across 3 d. Servings differed in: (i) health label (i.e. no health label, reduced-salt label or Heart Foundation Tick); and (ii) sodium reduction (no reduction – benchmark, 15 % less sodium or 30 % less sodium). Before tasting, participants rated their expected salt intensity and liking. After tasting, participants rated their perceived salt intensity and liking, after which they could add salt to the soup to make it more palatable.
Reduced-salt labels generated a negative taste expectation and actual taste experience in terms of liking (P < 0·05) and perceived saltiness (P < 0·05). Perceived saltiness of sodium-reduced soups decreased more (P < 0·05), and consumers added more salt (P < 0·05), when soups carried the reduced-salt label. The tick logo and soups without health labels had no such influence on taste perception.
Emphasizing salt reduction by means of a front-of-pack label can have a negative effect on taste perception and salt use, especially when consumers are able to taste differences between their regular soup and the sodium-reduced soup. Overall health logos which do not emphasize the reduction in salt are less likely to affect perceived salt intensity and therefore are viable solutions to indicate the healthiness of sodium-reduced products.
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