(P25-073-20) The Effects of Snack Exposure, Package Size, and Variety on Subsequent Energy Intake in Healthy Adults
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine whether snack exposure, package size, and variety influence subsequent energy intake and food choice in healthy adults.
Methods: Thirty-one healthy young adults (age: 23.6±0.7y; BMI: 23.0±0.5 kg/m2) participated in a randomized crossover study. At baseline, participants completed a 3-day snack recall in which they reported any snack foods or beverages consumed outside of breakfast, lunch, and dinner eating occasions (Control). Following baseline, the participants were provided, in randomized order, with the following isocaloric pack-out coolers to consume for 3 non-consecutive days/pack-out type: 1) Standard: containing 11 commonly consumed snacks (e.g., salty snacks, desserts & candy, fruit, vegetables, etc.); 2) Large Package: containing the same snacks at Standard but in larger package sizes; and 3) Variety: containing the same types of snacks as Standard plus an additional eight snacks. During the Control and pack-out assessment periods, standardized breakfasts, lunches, and dinners were provided. Three-day averaged ad libitum snack energy intake and food choices were assessed.
Results: Three-day average snack intake from Control was 747±59 kcal, Standard was 1121±111kcal, Large Package was 1274±138kcal, and Variety was 1110±103kcal. Regardless of type, the exposure to free, snack pack-outs increased snack energy intake compared to Control (all, p< 0.005). Large Package increased snack energy intake vs. Standard (p=0.01) and Variety (p=0.02). Further, Large Package increased consumption of desserts & candy, high fat, high sugar, and salty snacks vs. Standard (all, p< 0.03) and Variety (p< 0.02 to p=0.06). Alternately, Variety increased consumption of fruits and vegetables compared to Large Package (p=0.01) and Standard (p< 0.005). No other differences were observed.
Conclusions: Exposure to free, highly palatable snacks provided in larger package sizes led to greater energy consumption, especially from energy-dense snacks, in healthy adults, whereas snack variety increased nutrient-dense snacking without increased energy consumption. These results suggest that snack exposure, package size, and variety should be considered when developing dietary strategies to promote energy balance and healthy eating habits.
Funding Sources: Sabra Dipping Company and Internal Funds
Evan J. Reister
Graduate Student Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana
Heather J. Leidy
Associate Professor University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas