Year of publication
NOVA (adapted from)
United Kingdom, Portugal, Ireland, Germany and France
Food samples (weight consumption)
Age group of participant
Variation of Adolescent Snack Food Choices and Preferences along a Continuum of Processing Levels: The Case of Apples
Characterize the choices, consumption, and taste preferences of adolescents who were offered apple snack food items that varied along a processing level continuum (unprocessed, minimally processed, processed, and ultra-processed).
The study found that the students selected significantly (p < 0.0001) greater quantities of ultra-processed snack foods (M = 2.20 servings, SD = 1.23) compared to minimally processed (M = 0.56 servings, SD = 0.43) and unprocessed (M = 0.70 servings, SD = 0.37) snack foods. The students enjoyed the taste of ultra-processed snack foods (M = 2.72, SD = 0.66) significantly more (p < 0.0001) than minimally processed (M = 1.92, SD = 1.0) and unprocessed (M = 2.32, SD = 0.9) snack foods. A linear relationship was found between the selection and consumption quantities for each snack food item (R2 = 0.88). In conclusion, it was found that as processing levels increase in apple snack foods, they become more appealing and more heavily consumed by elementary school students. If applied broadly to snack foods, this conclusion presents one possible explanation regarding the high level of diet-related diseases and nutrient deficiencies across adolescents in America. Food and nutrition education, food product development, and marketing efforts are called upon to improve adolescent food choices and make less-processed snack food options more appealing and accessible to diverse consumers.
Svisco E, Byker Shanks C, Ahmed S, Bark K.