Portion size labeling and intended soft drink consumption: The impact of labeling format and size portfolio

W.M. Vermeer*, I.H.M. Steenhuis, F.H. Leeuwis, A.E.R. Bos, M. de Boer, J.C. Seidell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To assess what portion size labeling format is most promising in helping consumers selecting appropriate soft drink sizes, and whether labeling impact depends on the size portfolio. Methods: An experimental study was conducted in fast-food restaurants in which 2 labeling formats (ie, reference portion size and small/medium/large labels) were compared to a control condition, and 2 size ranges were assessed. The main outcome variable was participants' intended soft drink size choice. Stimulus material was presented through photographs. Results: There was a statistical trend for reference portion size labeling increasing the likelihood to choose small sizes (n = 158, odds ratio = 2.55, P = .06, confidence interval: 0.84-7.70). Conclusions and Implications: Reference portion size labeling is potentially most promising in reducing large portion size preferences. More research assessing the effectiveness of reference portion size labeling (combined with pricing strategies) on actual choices and consumption behavior in a realistic setting is recommended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-426
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • environmental interventions
  • food choice behavior
  • food portion sizes
  • labeling

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