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Consequence of salt, sugar and fat content modifications in foods on children's preference and intake

Abstract : Background: In France, the National Nutrition and Health Programme (“Programme National Nutrition Santé” or “PNNS”) is in charge of implementing the recommendations aiming at reducing salt, sugar and fat quantities in foods. However, the extent to which this might impact children’s food preferences and intake is limited. Objective: The present work aimed at understanding the impact of varying salt, sugar and fat variations in foods, on toddlers and children’s food preferences and intake. Methods: Studies were conducted in toddlers’ and children’s natural eating environment (nursery and school canteen), at their usually scheduled lunch and/or snack times. Results: Concerning sucrose, the addition of a low amount seems enough to trigger intake; thus, sucrose can be reduced without affecting food preferences and intake. As far as fat is concerned, suppressing or adding butter did not have an immediate impact on toddlers’ green beans or pasta intake. Besides, low-fat products seem to be well accepted by toddlers and adults. Concerning salt, its reduction seems more puzzling and should be considered cautiously. Our results highlighted dissociation between the direct positive effect of salt on food preferences and intake, and its role on learning. Conclusions: Food sensory qualities are important for eating behaviour. Although it seems that reductions of sugar and fat in foods are possible, thus helping to reduce energy intake, those concerning salt should be considered cautiously.
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Sofia Bouhlal. Consequence of salt, sugar and fat content modifications in foods on children's preference and intake. Food and Nutrition. Université de Bourgogne, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011DIJOS110⟩. ⟨tel-01684238⟩

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