Presentation Title

Compensatory Habits Among Diners Based on Food Descriptions

Presenter's Name(s)

Victoria TaorminaFollow

Project Collaborators

Stephen Pintauro (Collaborating Mentor)

Time

9:20 AM

Location

Chittenden Bank Room

Abstract

Presenting nutrition information on menus has become a popular form of nutrition intervention, though has not proven as successful as expected. The alteration of food descriptions may be a promising form of intervention based on the psychological concept of framing. Previous research has investigated the effect of manipulating food descriptions on one food choice. This study examines how the description of one food affects the other food choices throughout a meal. The project consisted of an online survey of the undergraduate and graduate student population at The University of Vermont (n=415). The survey contained two food selections, one soup and one sandwich selection, a question reflecting on the healthfulness of these selections, and questions collecting demographic data. The soup descriptor presented was found to have no effects on choice of sandwich type or sandwich descriptor. Soup type selected, specifically the food itself, held the greatest predictive power in terms of choice of sandwich type and the description that accompanied the food (p=0.0262; p=0.0164). Previously formed stereotypes from prior experience appeared to have a greater impact on food choice than the food descriptions presented. Other significant effects included effect of sex on choice of sandwich type and an effect of sandwich type on health rating given to the two food choices p<0.0001; p<0.0001). Future interventions should incorporate these stereotypes with the introduction of new elements to encourage healthy choices.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Jana Kraft

Secondary Mentor NetID

spintaur

Secondary Mentor Name

Stephen Pintauro

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Dietetics, Nutrition and Food Sciences

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Secondary Research Category

Health Sciences

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Compensatory Habits Among Diners Based on Food Descriptions

Presenting nutrition information on menus has become a popular form of nutrition intervention, though has not proven as successful as expected. The alteration of food descriptions may be a promising form of intervention based on the psychological concept of framing. Previous research has investigated the effect of manipulating food descriptions on one food choice. This study examines how the description of one food affects the other food choices throughout a meal. The project consisted of an online survey of the undergraduate and graduate student population at The University of Vermont (n=415). The survey contained two food selections, one soup and one sandwich selection, a question reflecting on the healthfulness of these selections, and questions collecting demographic data. The soup descriptor presented was found to have no effects on choice of sandwich type or sandwich descriptor. Soup type selected, specifically the food itself, held the greatest predictive power in terms of choice of sandwich type and the description that accompanied the food (p=0.0262; p=0.0164). Previously formed stereotypes from prior experience appeared to have a greater impact on food choice than the food descriptions presented. Other significant effects included effect of sex on choice of sandwich type and an effect of sandwich type on health rating given to the two food choices p<0.0001; p<0.0001). Future interventions should incorporate these stereotypes with the introduction of new elements to encourage healthy choices.