Most people do not necessarily consider how the texture of food plays into how much they eat, but perhaps they should, according to a new study from the Journal of Consumer Research. In five different laboratory studies, participants were asked about their perceptions of caloric content in foods that were soft, smooth, hard, or rough.
One of the studies honed in on how brownie texture, and a focus on calorie content, would effect the amount of brownies participants consumed. After asking the group to watch TV advertisements, researchers handed the group mini brownies to thank them for their time. This group was divided in half, with one side asked to think about calories as they ate, and the other group left to eat without additional instructions. Within each group, half were given harder brownies, and half were handed softer ones.
The study found that without caloric content on their mind, the quarter of participants with softer brownies ate more than the ones with harder ones. In contrast, for participants who considered calories before eating, the ones with the harder brownies consumed more.
The authors of the study claim that these findings could point toward various health benefits. They explain that if consumers consider how texture affects the type and amount of food they eat, and re-think their perceptions about calories, they may make healthier eating choices. In addition, texture could be a selling point for brands that want to promote their products, and these companies could emphasize low-calorie foods using findings from similar studies.
This study could also help consumers analyze their own eating trends, and evaluate how this affects their overall health. Healthier foods can often have a positive effect on the body’s overall functioning, helping people avoid abdominal pain and discomfort. If these symptoms continue, people could face more serious medical problems, such as gastritis, dyspepsia, and urinary tract infections, a condition affects more women than men, and presents a higher than 50% risk for women in their lifetime.
With the ever-evolving push for healthier eating habits, these studies could be an eye-opener for consumers, and even change the face of marketing for several companies.