Dr. Charlotte Hardman and colleagues at the University of Bristol have found that children expect their hunger to be satisfied with smaller portions of high energy snacks they know compared to snacks they are unfamiliar with.
Seventy children aged between 11 and 12 were shown images of 7 different high energy products including chicken nuggets, a chocolate bar and a jam donut and asked them to rate how filling they were compared to a comparison food, pasta and tomato sauce. This was carried out by adjusting the size of the picture of pasta and tomato sauce until the children considered it to be equally filling to the high energy food.
Snacks known to the children tended to be rated as twice as filling as those they were unfamiliar with. The study has been accepted for publication by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and is available ahead of print from their website.