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NewsBites August 2017 Issue

Watch Portions of Packaged Foods Marketed as Healthy

Portion-controlled packs of indulgent fare like cookies and chips may help people avoid overdoing such foods. A new study in the Journal of Business Research suggests such package cues may help us avoid overeating healthier foods, too.

In a series of studies with adults, scientists found that when a food perceived as healthy (regardless if that was true) was in a multi-serving package rather than a single-serve pack, people anticipated consuming more and ultimately did eat more of it. This was not true for snacks viewed as unhealthy.

"The physical action of having to open another package can disrupt the flow of mindless eating," says Myla Bui, PhD, lead author of the study at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. "This may be even more important for packaged foods viewed as healthy since the mere thought of eating an unhealthy snack may trigger people to consider eating less." Make your own single-portion packs using the serving size on the package as a guide.

To learn more: Journal of Business Research, June 2017

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