Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Food's Texture May Sway Perception of Calories

When study participants were thinking about calories, they ate more of the crunchier items, less of the soft

WebMD News from HealthDay

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 calorie amounts.

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 found.

"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.

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections