According to a study, called ‘‘Snack’ versus ‘meal’: The impact of label and place on food intake’, that can be found in the Appetite journal, people should stop calling food ‘snacks’, as it leads to overeating.
Appetite is a research journal that specializes in different factors such as culture, society or psychology that influence eating and drinking.
Labeling Food the Right Way: Snacks or Meals?
In this study, Professor Jane Ogden and her colleagues have researched how marketing impacts the way population sees food by labeling their products as ‘snacks’ or as ‘meals’.
During the study, eight subjects were given different foods that the researchers have either labeled as ‘meals’ or as ‘snacks’. For example, the subjects ate the same food: pasta, but some of them received it labeled as a snack, and others as a meal.
Those that ate it as a snack, ate the food standing up and from a plastic pot, with a plastic fork. The ones that ate pasta as a meal, were seated at a table and ate the food from a ceramic plate, with metal forks. Once they finished eating, there were foods available as a taste test: biscuits, mini cheddars, and M&Ms.
From what they’ve seen in the two groups, the ones that ate pasta as a snack ate more at the taste test than the others that ate the same amount of pasta, labeled as a meal. It appears that the ones that ate pasta as a snack, consumed a lot more sweets at the taste test than the ‘meal’ group.
So, the results of the test clearly show that when food is labeled as a snack rather than a meal, consumption will increase, especially if the person is standing instead of being seated.
Changing the Terms ‘Snack’ into ‘Meal’ Might Prevent Obesity
People often forget they had snacks and tend to eat more than they eat on regular meals.They should call their food ‘meal’ and eat it as a meal, this making them aware that they ate and preventing them to overeat later on.
Jane Ogden stated that to overcome the issue of overeating, people should call their food meals and not rely on foods on the go – snacks.This should help tackle gaining so much weight and even help with lowering the level of obesity.
The UK is facing a growth in obesity, a 24.9% increase in the last 30 years – the highest level in Europe, making people spend about £16 billion a year on treatments for conditions related to overweight or obesity issues.