foods are often high in fat and
sugar. Reducing this kind of
snack consumption is a useful
weight management strategy.
However, the trend for snacking
is going up, not down. Why do we
make poor snack choices? For a
variety of reasons, according to
a recentClinical Nutrition study.
Over a period of 5 days,
males and females completed a
food diary every time they ate,
with details about the type of
eating episode and food eaten,
and rated their agreement with
13 different reasons for eating.
Hunger and temptation were
reported as a reason for eating
unhealthy snacks in 49% and 55%
of all episodes, respectively.
Eating because the individual
was feeling fed up, bored or
stressed (emotional eating) was
given as a reason in 26% of
The study did not touch
upon the biggest reason we
snack, however. Food companies
are encouraging us to eat
between meals with their
marketing. 17 percent of people
said they are snacking more than
they were just a year ago.
Sales of snack bars are
up. Restaurant chains have been
changing their menus to capture
the midafternoon snacking crowd.
In a new Nielsen survey,
91 percent of people said they
snack daily, including 25
percent who snack three to five
times a day and 3 percent who
are "always snacking." About 8
percent say they "always" binge
snack, and another 31 percent do
Women prefer chocolate,
candy, or cookies. Men prefer
salty treats, such as pretzels
Both men and women
reported satisfying hunger and
cravings as their top reason for
snacking, but a greater share of
women report snacking for stress
relief, because of boredom, or
as an indulgence.
Women also snack more
often. Nearly one in four women
surveyed said they snack three
to four times a day. A little
less than one in five men do.
Women are also more likely to
snack while using the phone or
tablets during their downtime.
of our action plans have
excellent, extensive, balanced