Influence of nutrition labelling on food portion size consumption

Mary T. McCann, Julie M. W. Wallace, Paula J. Robson, Kirsten L Rennie, Tracy A. McCaffrey, Robert W. Welch, M. Barbara E. Livingstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Nutrition labelling is an important strategic approach for encouraging consumers to make healthier food choices. The availability of highly palatable foods labelled as 'low fat or reduced calorie' may encourage the over-consumption of these products. This study aimed to determine whether the manipulation of nutrition labelling information can influence food portion size consumption. Normal and overweight men (n=24) and women (n=23) were served an identical lunch meal on three separate days, but the information they received prior to consuming the lunch meal was manipulated as follows: "baseline", "high fat/energy" and "low fat/energy". Food and energy intake was significantly increased in the low fat/energy condition compared with both baseline and the high fat/energy condition. An additional 3% (162 kJ) energy was consumed by subjects under the low fat/energy condition compared to baseline. No differences were observed between the baseline and high fat/energy condition. Subjects who consumed most in the low fat/energy condition were found to be mostly men, to have a higher BMI and to be overweight. Low fat/energy information can positively influence food and energy intake, suggesting that foods labelled as 'low fat' or 'low calorie' may be one factor promoting the consumption of large food portions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-8
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


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