WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Creamy butter or
ice cream versus a crunchy granola bar: A new study suggests that
the texture of foods influences people's dieting choices.
"We studied the link between how a food feels in your mouth and the amount we eat, the types of food we choose, and how many calories we think we are consuming," wrote study authors Dipayan Biswas and Courtney Szocs, both from the University of South Florida, and others.
In one experiment, participants were asked to sample foods that
had soft, smooth, hard or rough textures and then estimate their
In another test, volunteers were asked to watch and rate a
number of television ads, thinking that was the test. But they were
also given cups with bite-sized brownies as a "thank you" for their
time. Half of the participants were also asked about the amount of
calories in the brownies.
Some of the participants received softer-textured brownies while
the other half got crunchier brownies. People who had been asked
about the calories in the brownies which forced them to focus on
caloric intake -- ate more of the crunchy brownies than soft.
On the other hand, those whose minds weren't focused on calories
tended to eat more of the soft brownies, the investigators
"Understanding how the texture of food can influence calorie perceptions, food choice, and consumption amount can help nudge consumers towards making healthier choices," the researchers concluded.
The study will be published in the August issue of the
Journal of Consumer Research.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has more about
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