Food Choice

This programme is funded by the Department of Health. We investigate how consumers make food choices and we test potential interventions designed to promote better choices.

In the first year, we conducted an experimental pre-test of different formats for calorie posting on restaurant menus. The study used a lab-in-the-field experiment that allowed us to track consumers’ eye-movements while they picked their lunch from a menu. The results (paper) showed that calorie posting reduced consumption, but the effect depended on the format. This behavioural evidence is informing planned legislation.

In the second year, we conducted two field trials to test whether the amount of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) foods people eat can be reduced by printing salient visual cues on packaging that show appropriate portion sizes. The results (paper) showed that the visual cues reduced consumption in some subgroups of the population.

A third study is looking at the effect of NutriScore labelling on consumer choice and consumption. Results are expected in 2022.