Eating rate and food intake are reduced when a food is presented in an ‘unusual’ meal context
Research has shown that 1) the slower a food is eaten the less food is consumed overall, and 2) context affects portion selection. This study aimed to explore whether eating rate and food intake are influenced by consuming food in ‘usual’ vs ‘unusual’ mealtime contexts. Furthermore, this study aimed to identify whether mealtime-specific appropriateness and previous consumption frequency corresponded with differences in eating rate and food intake between contexts. Seventy-eight participants were served either cheese and tomato pasta (a typical lunch food) or porridge with milk and honey (a typical breakfast food) ad libitum at both breakfast and lunch on separate days. Results showed that eating rate was slower (60.7 vs 71.2 g/min, p < 0.001) and less food was consumed (404.1 vs 543.2 g, p < 0.001) when participants ate cheese and tomato pasta at breakfast compared to at lunch. However, no significant differences in eating rate (54.6 vs 56.4 g/min, p = 0.75) or food intake (423.7 vs 437.7 g, p = 0.88) were found between mealtimes for porridge with milk and honey. Furthermore, differences in eating rate and food intake between contexts were not associated with differences in mealtime-specific appropriateness or previous consumption frequency. These results suggest that eating rate and ad libitum food intake are influenced by the congruency of the food-to-mealtime context; however, this effect is not associated with mealtime-specific appropriateness or previous consumption of the food. Further research should explore the implications of introducing foods at unusual mealtimes in relation to strategies for weight management.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences