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Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Energy density is the energy (calorie) content per unit weight of a food, meal or diet. It is important in terms of its impact on an individual's energy intake and overall energy balance. With obesity as a major public health issue in the UK and many other countries, encouraging intake of foods that are lower in energy density could help consumers to reduce their energy intake and eat a healthy, balanced diet. The food industry has a role in helping consumers achieve a healthy, balanced diet. Incorporating energy density as an element of the design or development of their products is one way through which food businesses might support this aim. The Institute of Grocery Distribution's (IGD) Industry Nutrition Strategy Group has produced a report for food businesses to help them to consider energy density as part of new product development or product reformulation. 'The role of energy density in helping consumers make healthy choices' provides information on energy density and its role in energy balance, techniques to adjust the energy density of foods, with guidance on using this concept in consumer communications. © 2012 The Author. Journal compilation © 2012 British Nutrition Foundation. Source

Cameron K.M.,University of Aberdeen | Morris P.J.,Center for Pet Nutrition | Hackett R.M.,Center for Pet Nutrition | Hackett R.M.,Institute of Grocery Distribution IGD | Speakman J.R.,University of Aberdeen
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition

Caloric restriction induces body mass loss that is often regained when restriction ends. This study aimed to determine if dietary energy density modulates the extent of post-restriction body mass regain. Water (20% wt:wt) was added to a standard dry commercially available feline diet. Twenty-seven domestic short-haired cats underwent a 20% caloric restriction on this diet. Following restriction, cats were offered the same dry diet ad libitum either without additional water or with 40% added water, therefore maintaining macronutrient composition whilst manipulating energy density. Despite no significant difference in energy intake during ad libitum consumption, post-restriction body mass regain was greater on the high energy dense (0% hydrated), compared to the low energy dense (40% hydrated) diet. The same protocol was repeated with a separate cohort of 19 cats with additional measures of physical activity, gut transit time and energy digestibility. Activity levels on the low energy dense diet were significantly higher than in cats on the high energy dense diet (p=0.030) and were similar to those recorded during caloric restriction. These results suggest that body mass gain following caloric restriction is ameliorated, and physical activity enhanced, by feeding a diet which is low in energy density due to the addition of 40% water. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

Arnold H.,Institute of Grocery Distribution IGD | Hackett R.,Institute of Grocery Distribution IGD
Nutrition Bulletin

The portion size of pre-packaged food and drink products is one of the suggested areas of focus within the calorie reduction pledge of the UK government's Public Health Responsibility Deal. Food businesses are encouraged to commit to this pledge to help consumers decrease their overall energy intake. There is a lack of evidence, however, to suggest that changes in the portion size of pre-packaged food and drinks will lead to a decrease in overall energy intake. The Institute of Grocery Distribution's (IGD) Industry Nutrition Strategy Group convened a working group to review the evidence available on the portion size of pre-packaged food and drink and its relation to consumption behaviour. This involved input from a stakeholder workshop that identified gaps in the evidence base. The working group also documented informal aspects that can influence portion size from the perspective of the food industry. In their Report, the working group concluded that there is a need for more evidence in relation to the portion size of pre-packaged food and drink and its impact on consumption behaviour. Further research will help determine how portion sizes may be optimised to support consumers in managing their energy intake, while satisfying appetite and avoiding any unintended consequences. The Report makes recommendations for priority areas. These include determining whether portion size of pre-packaged products is the best instrument to help consumers manage their energy intake and understanding the impact of promotional dynamics on consumption behaviour. It is anticipated that investigation of these areas will inform the debate on the portion size of pre-packaged foods and drinks and provide evidence to help guide decisions about portion size in practice. © 2012 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2012 British Nutrition Foundation. Source

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