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Special Issue "Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Tamara Bucher

Post Doctoral Research Fellow, School of Health Sciences, Priority Research Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, Australia
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Guest Editor
Dr. Megan Rollo

Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, ATC 309H, ATC Building, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia
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Interests: dietary assessment methods; ehealth; mhealth; behavioural nutrition interventions
Guest Editor
Dr. Tracy McCaffrey

Lecturer Nutrition Dietetics & Food, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Clare Collins

Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, the University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia
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Phone: +61 2 4921 5646
Fax: +61 2 4921 7053
Interests: nutrition; dietary intake; caloric restriction; dietary patterns; diet quality
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ingrid Steenhuis

Faculty of Science, Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), the Netherlands
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutrients is planning a Special Issue on food portion size in relation to diet and health.

There is evidence that food and beverage portion sizes have changed over time and influence indicators of health. In addition, interventions that address portion size, including education strategies have potential to assist in addressing diet related chronic conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, more research on this topic is needed to guide evidence-based decisions related to food labelling, nutrition education, weight management interventions and health promotion. This call is for research that can inform policy and practice.

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Consumer understanding and interpretation of portion size information

  • Best practice methods to define standards for labels and guidance on healthy eating

  • Effectiveness of portion sized guidance/labels/education/interventions

  • Portion size education and training

  • Labels/tools and technology for portion size estimation and education

  • Typically consumed portions versus recommended portions

  • Changes and trends in portion size consumption

  • International comparisons of portion size, including definitions and consumer understanding

  • Portion size as part of weight management/weight loss programs

  • Measurements for portion control practices

Dr. Tamara Bucher
Dr. Megan Rollo
Dr. Tracy McCaffrey
Prof. Dr. Clare Collins
Prof. Dr. Ingrid Steenhuis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Portion size

  • Serving size

  • Portion size education

  • Portion size guidance

  • Food volume

  • Food labels

  • Food choice

  • Nutrition Education

  • Diet

  • Diet quality

  • Weight management

  • Health promotion

  • Dietary assessment

  • Portion size measurement

  • Portion size measurement aids

  • Portion size estimation aids

  • Dietary guidelines

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Process Evaluation of a Multi-Component Intervention in Dutch Dietetic Treatment to Improve Portion Control Behavior and Decrease Body Mass Index in Overweight and Obese Patients
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1717; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111717
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract
The SMARTsize intervention embeds an evidence-based portion control intervention in regular dietetic care. This intervention was evaluated to explore (1) which patients participated, (2) the implementation process, and (3) the outcomes of the intervention. The intervention was evaluated with an observational study design
[...] Read more.
The SMARTsize intervention embeds an evidence-based portion control intervention in regular dietetic care. This intervention was evaluated to explore (1) which patients participated, (2) the implementation process, and (3) the outcomes of the intervention. The intervention was evaluated with an observational study design including measures at baseline, and three, six, and nine months after the start of the program. Data concerning the process (participation, dose delivered, dose received, satisfaction) and the outcomes (self-efficacy, intention, portion control strategies, and Body Mass Index (BMI) were collected with forms and questionnaires filled out by dietitians and patients. Descriptive analyses, comparison analyses, and cluster analyses were performed. Patients were mainly obese, moderately to highly educated women of Dutch ethnicity. Use of the intervention components varied from 50% to 100% and satisfaction with the SMARTsize intervention was sufficient to good (grades 7.2–8.0). Statistically significant (p < 0.001) improvements were observed for self-efficacy (+0.5), portion control strategies (+0.7), and BMI (−2.2 kg/m2), with no significant differences between patients with or without counselling. Three clusters of patients with different levels of success were identified. To conclude, implementing an evidence-based portion control intervention in real-life dietetic practice is feasible and likely to result in weight loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Right Sizing: Sensory-Based Product Design Is a Promising Strategy to Nudge Consumers toward Healthier Portions
Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101544
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
Research has shown that people consume more food when offered larger portions, and that reducing exposure to large food portions and packages could decrease the average daily energy consumed. In this context, our aim is to develop strategies to promote healthier eating behaviors
[...] Read more.
Research has shown that people consume more food when offered larger portions, and that reducing exposure to large food portions and packages could decrease the average daily energy consumed. In this context, our aim is to develop strategies to promote healthier eating behaviors by reducing portion selection and intake. The present research investigates the impact of different visual attributes of foods on quantity perception and portion selection. In the first study, we tested whether modifying the shape of a familiar food influenced the ideal portion size in adults. In the second study, we assessed the impact of shape, number of units, size, and color variety on a perceived quantity for a familiar multiunit product in children. Participants (N1 = 70 adults, N2 = 62 children) completed different picture-based computer tasks. As hypothesized: (1) adults selected a smaller ideal portion size for an elongated product than for wider and thicker shapes, and (2) children’s perception of food quantity was primarily driven by number of pieces, with smaller effects of size and elongation. Perceived quantity was not influenced by color variety. These findings suggest that it may be possible to reduce the size of food portions without negatively impacting perceived quantity, and to provide opportunities to nudge consumers towards smaller portions while maintaining satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Feasibility and Acceptability of Two Methods of Snack Portion Control in United Kingdom (UK) Preschool Children: Reduction and Replacement
Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101493
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 October 2018 / Published: 12 October 2018
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Abstract
Large portions of high energy dense (HED) snacks are offered to children from a young age and are pervasive in our food environment. This study aimed to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of two strategies of snack portion control: reduction and
[...] Read more.
Large portions of high energy dense (HED) snacks are offered to children from a young age and are pervasive in our food environment. This study aimed to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of two strategies of snack portion control: reduction and replacement. Forty-six mother-child dyads aged 22–56 months (36.6 ± 9.5 m, 48% female) completed a three-week intervention. In week 1 (baseline) no changes were made to the child’s diet; week 2 (acclimation) children received a standardised selection of HED snacks, and in week 3 (intervention) participants were randomly assigned to snack replacement (n = 24) or snack reduction (n = 22). Snack replacement involved swapping HED snacks for fruits and vegetables, whilst snack reduction involved reducing the size of HED snacks by 50%. Food and energy intake were measured using a weighed food diary for four consecutive days. Snack replacement resulted in more positive changes to children’s diets; vegetable intake increased (p < 0.01), and total daily energy intake decreased when compared to snack reduction (p < 0.05). Mothers expressed a more favourable attitude to snack replacement, although snack reduction was also well received by mothers. Despite increased preliminary efficacy of snack replacement on dietary intake, both strategies were feasible and acceptable. The current pilot study provides the necessary information to inform the design of future interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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Open AccessArticle “My Tummy Tells Me” Cognitions, Barriers and Supports of Parents and School-Age Children for Appropriate Portion Sizes
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10081040
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Larger portion sizes have increased in tandem with the rise in obesity. Elucidation of the cognitions of children and parents related to portion size is needed to inform the development of effective obesity prevention programs. This study examined cognitions of parents (n
[...] Read more.
Larger portion sizes have increased in tandem with the rise in obesity. Elucidation of the cognitions of children and parents related to portion size is needed to inform the development of effective obesity prevention programs. This study examined cognitions of parents (n = 36) and their school-age children (6 to 11 years; n = 35) related to portion sizes via focus group discussions. Parents and children believed controlling portion sizes promoted health and weight control. Some parents felt controlling portions was unnecessary, particularly if kids were a healthy weight because kids can self-regulate intake. Barriers to serving appropriate portions identified by parents focused largely on kids getting enough, rather than too much, to eat. Parents also identified lack of knowledge of age-appropriate portions as a barrier. Facilitators of portion control cited by parents included purchasing pre-portioned products and using small containers to serve food. Children relied on cues from parents (e.g., amount of food parent served them) and internal hunger/satiety cues to regulate intake but found it difficult to avoid overeating highly palatable foods, at restaurants, and when others were overeating. Results suggest obesity prevention interventions should aim to improve portion sizes cognitions, barrier management, and use of facilitators, in families with school-age children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
Open AccessArticle Feasibility of Reviewing Digital Food Images for Dietary Assessment among Nutrition Professionals
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080984
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 23 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
Validity of image-assisted and image-based dietary assessment methods relies on the accuracy of portion size estimation based on food images. However, little is known on the ability of nutrition professionals in assessing dietary intake based on digital food images. This study aims to
[...] Read more.
Validity of image-assisted and image-based dietary assessment methods relies on the accuracy of portion size estimation based on food images. However, little is known on the ability of nutrition professionals in assessing dietary intake based on digital food images. This study aims to examine the ability of nutrition professionals in reviewing food images with regard to food item identification and portion size estimation. Thirty-eight nutritionists, dietitians, and nutrition researchers participated in this study. Through an online questionnaire, participants’ accuracy in identifying food items and estimating portion sizes of two sets of digital food images presenting a meal on a plate (Image PL) and in a bowl (Image BW) were tested. Participants reported higher accuracy in interpreting Image BW compared to Image PL, both in terms of accuracy in food identification (75.3 ± 17.6 vs. 68.9 ± 17.1%) and percentage difference in portion size estimation (44.3 ± 16.6 vs. 47.6 ± 21.2%). Weight of raw vegetables was significantly underestimated (−45.1 ± 22.8% vs. −21.2 ± 37.4%), while drink was significantly overestimated (40.1 ± 45.8% vs. 26.1 ± 32.2) in both images. Less than one-third of the participants estimated portion size within 10% of actual weight for Image PL (23.7%) and Image BW (32.3%). Accuracy of nutrition professionals in reviewing food images could be further improved with training on better perception of portion sizes from images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Differences over 12 Years in Food Portion Size and Association with Excess Body Weight in the City of São Paulo, Brazil
Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060696
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Although changes in Brazilian diet have occurred over the last decades, there is no evidence about differences in food portion sizes (FPS) over time. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the association of FPS with excess body weight (EBW), and to monitor differences in
[...] Read more.
Although changes in Brazilian diet have occurred over the last decades, there is no evidence about differences in food portion sizes (FPS) over time. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the association of FPS with excess body weight (EBW), and to monitor differences in the population from São Paulo, Brazil, from 2003 to 2015. Data came from three cross-sectional population-based studies with 5270 individuals aged ≥12 years in 2003, 2008, and 2015. Dietary data were obtained from 24-h recalls. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between FPS and EBW. Over the years, there was a diverse variation in FPS, with an increase in some groups (white meat, salted snacks, coffee/tea, eggs) and decrease in others (rice, red meat, sweets, pasta, sandwiches, cold cuts). The percentage of people reporting the intake of six food groupings (rice, white meat, sweets, fruits, commercial juices, toasts/biscuits) increased in the period. In this population, EBW was associated with larger FPS of 11 of the 30 food groupings investigated (cold cuts, fried snacks, fruit and commercial juices, pizza, red meat, rice, salted snacks, soft drinks, soups, sugar). These findings could support future interventions and policies for optimal food intake in Brazil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Nutrition and Health Claims on Consumer Perceptions and Portion Size Selection: Results from a Nationally Representative Survey
Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050656
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
Nutrition and health claims on foods can help consumers make healthier food choices. However, claims may have a ‘halo’ effect, influencing consumer perceptions of foods and increasing consumption. Evidence for these effects are typically demonstrated in experiments with small samples, limiting generalisability. The
[...] Read more.
Nutrition and health claims on foods can help consumers make healthier food choices. However, claims may have a ‘halo’ effect, influencing consumer perceptions of foods and increasing consumption. Evidence for these effects are typically demonstrated in experiments with small samples, limiting generalisability. The current study aimed to overcome this limitation through the use of a nationally representative survey. In a cross-sectional survey of 1039 adults across the island of Ireland, respondents were presented with three different claims (nutrition claim = “Low in fat”; health claim = “With plant sterols. Proven to lower cholesterol”; satiety claim = “Fuller for longer”) on four different foods (cereal, soup, lasagne, and yoghurt). Participants answered questions on perceived healthiness, tastiness, and fillingness of the products with different claims and also selected a portion size they would consume. Claims influenced fillingness perceptions of some of the foods. However, there was little influence of claims on tastiness or healthiness perceptions or the portion size selected. Psychological factors such as consumers’ familiarity with foods carrying claims and belief in the claims were the most consistent predictors of perceptions and portion size selection. Future research should identify additional consumer factors that may moderate the relationships between claims, perceptions, and consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Associations of Mediterranean Diet and a Posteriori Derived Dietary Patterns with Breast and Lung Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040470
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1983 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Poland and worldwide. Results of studies involving dietary patterns (DPs) and breast or lung cancer risk in European countries outside the Mediterranean Sea region are limited and
[...] Read more.
Lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Poland and worldwide. Results of studies involving dietary patterns (DPs) and breast or lung cancer risk in European countries outside the Mediterranean Sea region are limited and inconclusive. This study aimed to develop a ‘Polish-adapted Mediterranean Diet’ (‘Polish-aMED’) score, and then study the associations between the ‘Polish-aMED’ score and a posteriori-derived dietary patterns with breast or lung cancer risk in adult Poles. This pooled analysis of two case-control studies involved 560 subjects (280 men, 280 women) aged 40–75 years from Northeastern Poland. Diagnoses of breast cancer in 140 women and lung cancer in 140 men were found. The food frequency consumption of 21 selected food groups was collected using a 62-item Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ)-6. The ‘Polish-adapted Mediterranean Diet’ score which included eight items—vegetables, fruit, whole grain, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds—as well as the ratio of vegetable oils to animal fat and red and processed meat was developed (range: 0–8 points). Three DPs were identified in a Principal Component Analysis: ‘Prudent’, ‘Non-healthy’, ‘Dressings and sweetened-low-fat dairy’. In a multiple logistic regression analysis, two models were created: crude, and adjusted for age, sex, type of cancer, Body Mass Index (BMI), socioeconomic status (SES) index, overall physical activity, smoking status and alcohol abuse. The risk of breast or lung cancer was lower in the average (3–5 points) and high (6–8 points) levels of the ‘Polish-aMED’ score compared to the low (0–2 points) level by 51% (odds ratio (OR): 0.49; 95% confidence interval (Cl): 0.30–0.80; p < 0.01; adjusted) and 63% (OR: 0.37; 95% Cl: 0.21–0.64; p < 0.001; adjusted), respectively. In the middle and upper tertiles compared to the bottom tertile of the ‘Prudent’ DP, the risk of cancer was lower by 38–43% (crude) but was not significant after adjustment for confounders. In the upper compared to the bottom tertile of the ‘Non-healthy’ DP, the risk of cancer was higher by 65% (OR: 1.65; 95% Cl: 1.05–2.59; p < 0.05; adjusted). In conclusion, the Polish adaptation of the Mediterranean diet could be considered for adults living in non-Mediterranean countries for the prevention of the breast or lung cancers. Future studies should explore the role of a traditional Mediterranean diet fitted to local dietary patterns of non-Mediterranean Europeans in cancer prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Fairness-Based Tasks for Assessing Children’s Perceptions of Food Quantities and Associations with Portion Selection
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040453
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
PDF Full-text (1214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is critical to develop ecologically valid experimental methods to assess consumers’ food-related behaviors. Ad libitum approaches are often used but may not be appropriate for studies with children or with products that are not typically consumed until the individual feels full. The
[...] Read more.
It is critical to develop ecologically valid experimental methods to assess consumers’ food-related behaviors. Ad libitum approaches are often used but may not be appropriate for studies with children or with products that are not typically consumed until the individual feels full. The current study presents novel methods to assess children’s size perception and portion preference for gummy candies. In the first study, 62 children (30 boys, 32 girls) aged 6 to 9 years completed two matching tasks: one using pictures on a computer screen, and a similar task where the products were physically manipulated. Results of the two matching tasks were correlated, demonstrating that a computer-based approach could be used to predict the factors influencing children’s perception of food amount: the number, size, and shape of pieces. In the second study, a portioning measure was developed to investigate whether the factors identified in the matching tasks were confirmed in a task that more closely represented portion selection in the real world. The effects observed in the matching tasks could not be replicated in the portioning task. The size of each item had no significant impact on the portion selection, suggesting that it may be possible to reduce the size of pieces in snacks where multiple pieces are typically consumed without negatively impacting perceived quantity in children, thus offering a promising strategy to nudge children toward choosing smaller portions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Serving Size and Nutrition Labelling: Implications for Nutrition Information and Nutrition Claims on Packaged Foods
Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 891; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070891
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The presentation of nutrition information on a serving size basis is a strategy that has been adopted by several countries to promote healthy eating. Variation in serving size, however, can alter the nutritional values reported on food labels and compromise the food choices
[...] Read more.
The presentation of nutrition information on a serving size basis is a strategy that has been adopted by several countries to promote healthy eating. Variation in serving size, however, can alter the nutritional values reported on food labels and compromise the food choices made by the population. This narrative review aimed to discuss (1) current nutrition labelling legislation regarding serving size and (2) the implications of declared serving size for nutrition information available on packaged foods. Most countries with mandatory food labelling require that serving size be presented on food labels, but variation in this information is generally allowed. Studies have reported a lack of standardisation among serving sizes of similar products which may compromise the usability of nutrition information. Moreover, studies indicate that food companies may be varying serving sizes as a marketing strategy to stimulate sales by reporting lower values of certain nutrients or lower energy values on nutrition information labels. There is a need to define the best format for presenting serving size on food labels in order to provide clear and easily comprehensible nutrition information to the consumer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Portion Size in Relation to Diet and Health)
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