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Determinants of Portion Size in Children and Adolescents: Insights from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme (2008–2016)

School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2957; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122957
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 30 November 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Portion Size Effect and Strategies for Portion Control)
Large portion sizes have been identified as contributing to overweight and obesity, particularly in children and adolescents. This study examined predictors of portion sizes of high energy snack foods eaten by children aged 1.5–18 years. Specifically, we examined whether portion sizes were adjusted for age, and what external features of the environment might be linked to large portion sizes. Portion sizes were derived from four-day food diaries that form the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Diaries from 5942 children were examined and multilevel models were used to discover whether age, gender, location, time of day, household income, and watching TV while eating predicted portion sizes of savoury snacks, chocolate, confectionery and biscuits. Portion sizes of all the target foods were predicted by age. Boys had larger portions, and portion sizes were larger when target foods were consumed later in the day. Portion sizes were larger outside the home, for example in leisure venues, but the target foods were eaten more frequently in the home. As dietary patterns change to include more snack intake outside the home, these locations could be an important space to target for interventions for portion control. View Full-Text
Keywords: portion size; snack food; children; adolescent; chocolate; crisps; high energy density food; NDNS portion size; snack food; children; adolescent; chocolate; crisps; high energy density food; NDNS
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Blundell-Birtill, P.; Hetherington, M.M. Determinants of Portion Size in Children and Adolescents: Insights from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme (2008–2016). Nutrients 2019, 11, 2957.

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