Sugar labeling: How numerical information of sugar content influences healthiness and tastiness expectations.

07:00 EST 4th November 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Sugar labeling: How numerical information of sugar content influences healthiness and tastiness expectations."

Overconsumption of highly sugary foods contributes to increases in obesity and diabetes in our population, and initiatives are issued worldwide to reduce sugar content in food products. However, it is unclear how the presentation of reduced sugar content on food packages affects taste expectations of consumers. Based on the learned knowledge about negative health effects of sugar and the common belief that unhealthy food tastes better than healthy food, consumers might conclude that lower sugar levels are associated with higher healthiness and lower tastiness. Addressing this concern, we examined how quantitative information about sugar content without any verbal description influences consumers' health and taste expectations of dairy desserts. We asked participants to indicate the expected healthiness and tastiness of randomly sampled dairy desserts, while varying systematically the quantitative sugar information provided in a label presented with the desserts (numerical sugar level in grams per 100 grams of product: low vs. original vs. high). We assumed that quantitative sugar content is not equally associated with healthiness and tastiness of products and that numerical information about sugar content informs health more than taste expectations. Therefore, we predicted that consumers expect higher healthiness, but not to the same degree lower tastiness for products with reduced sugar contented compared to products with higher sugar content. The results of the present study are in line with this hypothesis. We found that consumers expected desserts with less sugar to be healthier than desserts with higher levels of sugar. The experimentally varied sugar levels did not affect the tastiness expectations. Notably, consumers did not follow the unhealthy = tasty intuition and did not devaluate the tastiness of desserts because of heightened healthiness expectations. Our findings suggest that sole numerical information about sugar content-an important nutritional value-is more diagnostic in the construction of healthiness rather than tastiness expectations of food products.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Pages: e0223510


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Reversibly catalyzes the oxidation of a hydroxyl group of sugar alcohols to form a keto sugar, aldehyde or lactone. Any acceptor except molecular oxygen is permitted. Includes EC 1.1.1.; EC 1.1.2. and EC 1.1.99.

The bacterial sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS) that catalyzes the transfer of the phosphoryl group from phosphoenolpyruvate to its sugar substrates (the PTS sugars) concomitant with the translocation of these sugars across the bacterial membrane. The phosphorylation of a given sugar requires four proteins, two general proteins, Enzyme I and HPr and a pair of sugar-specific proteins designated as the Enzyme II complex. The PTS has also been implicated in the induction of synthesis of some catabolic enzyme systems required for the utilization of sugars that are not substrates of the PTS as well as the regulation of the activity of adenylate cyclase. EC 2.7.1.-.

Short chain carbohydrate molecules that have hydroxyl groups attached to each carbon atom unit with the exception of one carbon that has a doubly-bond aldehyde or ketone oxygen. Cyclical sugar molecules are formed when the aldehyde or ketone groups respectively form a hemiacetal or hemiketal bond with one of the hydroxyl carbons. The three dimensional structure of the sugar molecule occurs in a vast array of biological and synthetic classes of specialized compounds including AMINO SUGARS; CARBASUGARS; DEOXY SUGARS; SUGAR ACIDS; SUGAR ALCOHOLS; and SUGAR PHOSPHATES.

Any compound that contains a constituent sugar, in which the hydroxyl group attached to the first carbon is substituted by an alcoholic, phenolic, or other group. They are named specifically for the sugar contained, such as glucoside (glucose), pentoside (pentose), fructoside (fructose), etc. Upon hydrolysis, a sugar and nonsugar component (aglycone) are formed. (From Dorland, 28th ed; From Miall's Dictionary of Chemistry, 5th ed)

Sugar alcohol molecules that contain three carbons.

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