Giving calories a run for their value

Giving calories a run for their value

Giving calories a run for their value
-Laboratory Study-

Dr. Barbara Fasolo

Candidate Number: 24018
Word Count: 558


In fast paced environments such as university campuses, the consumption of unhealthy foods is both convenient and budget friendly. This tendency is worrisome as dietary habits formed in this period tend to extend into adulthood (Levi, A. et. al, 2006). The belief that the choice of lifestyle is highly unlikely to affect one’s health (Miles, S. et. al, 2003) can backfire by leaving individuals exposed to a number of food-related hazards. Previous research on the impact of nutrition information on food purchases, either inside or outside the university context, has been either inconsistent (Long, M., 2015) or applicable only to female respondents (Levi, A. et. al, 2006).

This research aims to pick up from where previous studies left off, by assessing how different ways of conveying nutritional information affects students’ ultimate choice of foods.

The hypotheses are the following:

Hypothesis 1: Replacing calorie intake with a sport related metric will lead respondents of both sexes, to make better food choices.

Hypothesis 2: Information displayed as a sport equivalent will be better remembered than numeric values, thus having a more long-lasting effect on food choices.


80 undergraduate students (40 women, 40 men). No remuneration offered, although they will get to keep the products chosen during the study.

Two rooms will be repurposed so as to resemble a store. They will both have a full wall shelf, with five rows, displaying an identical variety of snacks, sweets, peanuts, yogurts and dried fruits. The criteria for the selection of the products shown is both a vivid front of pack nutrition label and a calorie value ranging from 200 to 400 per pack. In one room,...

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