Can reduced intake associated with downsizing a high energy dense meal item be offset by increased vegetable variety in 3–5-year-old children?

Sharon A. Carstairs, Samantha J. Caton, Pam Blundell-Birtill, Barbara J. Rolls, Marion M. Hetherington, Joanne E. Cecil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Large portions of energy dense foods promote overconsumption but offering small portions might lead to compensatory intake of other foods. Offering a variety of vegetables could help promote vegetable intake and offset the effect of reducing the portion size (PS) of a high energy dense (HED) food. Therefore, we tested the effect on intake of reducing the PS of a HED unit lunch item while varying the variety of the accompanying low energy dense (LED) vegetables. In a within-subjects design, 43 3–5-year-old pre-schoolers were served a lunch meal in their nursery on 8 occasions. Children were served a standard (100%) or downsized (60%) portion of a HED sandwich with a side of LED vegetables offered as a single (carrot, cherry tomato, cucumber) or variety (all 3 types) item. Reducing the PS of a HED sandwich reduced sandwich (g) (p < 0.001) and total meal intake (kcal) consumption (p = 0.001) without an increased intake of other foods in the meal (LED vegetables (p = 0.169); dessert (p = 0.835)). Offering a variety of vegetables, compared with a single vegetable, increased vegetable intake (g) (p = 0.003) across PS conditions. Downsizing and variety were effective strategies individually for altering pre-schoolers’ intakes of HED and LED meal items, however, using variety to offset HED downsizing was not supported in the present study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1879
JournalNutrients
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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