Differing Definitions of Snack May Impact Sweet Snack Consumption

College Student Eating Snack(Posted on 6/11/2018)  In the past 40 years, the intake of snacks has increased, and the consumption of main meals has decreased in American adults. However, our gender may influence what foods we regard as snacks. Previous research has also indicated that viewing a food as a snack or a meal can impact not only decisions about when, where and why food is consumed, but also what food is consumed.

A study in Food Quality and Preference has investigated gender differences in which foods are perceived as snacks vs. meals. The study utilized a series of surveys which asked college-aged adults to categorize foods as snacks or meals. In all three surveys, men categorized more foods as snacks compared to women, particularly sweet and energy-dense foods. One survey found that women categorized fruit and yogurt parfait and doughnuts as meals, whilst men viewed them as snacks. These gender differences may reflect preconceived notions about snacking on health, with women being more cautious about eating unhealthy foods, and avoiding sugary or fatty snacks.

Source: From Elsevier Research Selection for Journalists,  June, 2018, Part One. Wadher, D. and Wilkie, LM, College-Aged Men View More Foods as Snacks than Women Do, Food Quality and Preference, Volume 69, October 2018, Pages 53-56.


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