Nav: Home

Herbs, spices on vegetables may increase their appeal to men, young adults

June 02, 2017

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Adults who don't routinely eat vegetables for lunch may be more likely to consume them if the vegetables are seasoned, a new study suggests.

People who seldom ate vegetables at lunch were 1.5 times more likely to select a seasoned vegetable than its unseasoned counterpart, researchers at the University of Illinois found in a study of more than 530 adults.

During the study, which was conducted over a three-week period in a cafe setting, one vegetable - broccoli, carrots or green beans - was offered each day as both a seasoned and an unseasoned selection. Customers who purchased a hot entree were offered a vegetable at no extra cost.

All diners, regardless of whether they took a vegetable, were asked to complete a survey that included questions about their eating habits, vegetable preferences and likelihood of purchasing a vegetable side dish if it were priced at $1.

Broccoli, carrots and green beans were chosen for the study because they are among the vegetables most frequently consumed by adults in the U.S., said the paper's lead author, Joanna Manero, a graduate student in food science and human nutrition.

To prevent potential bias caused by labeling, the unseasoned vegetables were listed on the menu board as "steamed" carrots, green beans or broccoli rather than as "unseasoned," according to the paper, published recently in Appetite.

Diners in the study were significantly more likely to choose a seasoned vegetable - especially if the consumer was male and under 50 years old, the researchers found. However, the opposite effect was found with diners who routinely ate vegetables for lunch: They preferred the unseasoned selections.

Despite numerous public awareness campaigns aimed at enticing Americans to increase their consumption of vegetables for better health, many people still fall short of the amounts recommended by federal agencies and nutritionists, research has found. And those who do eat vegetables tend to eat them more frequently during their evening meal rather than at breakfast or lunch.

Herbs and spices may make vegetables more tempting for men and younger adults - who tend to eat fewer plant-based foods overall than do women and older adults, Manero said.

"Getting people to go from zero to even one serving is a big step forward in moving people to include vegetables in their daily diet," said food science and human nutrition professor Karen Chapman-Novakofski, a co-author of the paper. "If you're already eating vegetables at dinner, then perhaps that's not the place we need to make that nutritional nudge."

Most diners indicated that they liked carrots, green beans or broccoli somewhat or very much, whether seasoned or not. If the vegetable selections were priced at $1, diners indicated that they would be somewhat or very likely to purchase a broccoli selection (84 percent), the green beans (74 percent) or the carrots (64 percent).

When diners returned their trays, the researchers collected and measured the amount of waste to determine how much of the vegetables participants actually ate.

Diners wasted twice as much of the seasoned carrots as green beans and three times more carrots than seasoned broccoli, even though they reported they liked carrots about as much as the other two vegetables. The researchers hypothesized that diners may have disliked the cinnamon seasoning that was used on the carrots in the study.
-end-
Additional co-authors of the paper were food science and human nutrition professors Soo-Yeun Lee and Shelly Nickols-Richardson, agricultural and consumer economics professor Brenna Ellison, and Bevier Cafe quantity food manager Carter Phillips.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related Vegetables Articles:

Using enticing food labeling to make vegetables more appealing
Does labeling carrots as 'twisted citrus-glazed carrots' or green beans as 'sweet sizzilin' green beans and crispy shallots' make them more enticing and increase vegetable consumption?
Herbs, spices on vegetables may increase their appeal to men, young adults
Seasonings may entice adults -- especially men and people under age 50 -- who don't generally eat vegetables at lunchtime into increasing their vegetable intake, suggests a new study led by Joanna Manero, a graduate student in food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois.
Eating more fruits and vegetables may lower risk of blockages in leg arteries
Eating three or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day may lower your risk of developing blockages in leg arteries.
Frozen fruits and vegetables help Americans achieve nutrition goals
New research presented today via poster presentation at the 2017 Experimental Biology meeting shows consumers who eat frozen fruits and vegetables eat more fruits and vegetables overall.
Fruits and vegetables' latest superpower? Lowering blood pressure
New study by Keck School of Medicine of USC researcher links increased dietary potassium with lower blood pressure.
Lack of fruits and vegetables increases global heart disease burden
The researchers conclude that population-based interventions to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables could lead to millions more years of healthy life worldwide.
Up to 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day may prevent 7.8 million premature deaths
A fruit and vegetable intake above five-a-day shows major benefit in reducing the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.
Fruits and vegetables may slow ALS
New research at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reveals that foods like fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidant nutrients and carotenoids are associated with better function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients around the time of diagnosis.
Diet and diabetes risk: More (fruit and vegetables) is less
Healthy diets rich in fruit and vegetables have the potential to reduce incidence of type 2 diabetes, according to a new research article by Ambika Satija and colleagues published in PLOS Medicine.
Vegetables irrigated with treated wastewater expose consumers to drugs
A new study by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center shows that eating vegetables and fruits grown in soils irrigated with reclaimed wastewater exposes consumers to minute quantities of carbamazepine, an anti-epileptic drug commonly detected in wastewater effluents.

Related Vegetables Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".