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Nutrients 2018, 10(12), 1879;

Can Reduced Intake Associated with Downsizing a High Energy Dense Meal Item be Offset by Increased Vegetable Variety in 3–5-year-old Children?

Population and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9TF, UK
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DA, UK
School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: portion size; pre-school children; eating behavior; variety portion size; pre-school children; eating behavior; variety

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Carstairs, S.A.; Caton, S.J.; Blundell-Birtill, P.; Rolls, B.J.; Hetherington, M.M.; Cecil, J.E. Can Reduced Intake Associated with Downsizing a High Energy Dense Meal Item be Offset by Increased Vegetable Variety in 3–5-year-old Children? Nutrients 2018, 10, 1879.

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