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Nutrients 2018, 10(12), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121879

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

1
Population and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9TF, UK
2
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DA, UK
3
School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
4
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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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. 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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