Poster Presentation ANZOS-OSSANZ-AOCO Joint Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Patterns of discretionary food intake among adults with and without obesity: a study protocol (#210)

Mackenzie Fong 1 , Claire D Madigan 2 , Andrew J Hill 3 , Ian D Caterson 1
  1. The Boden Institute, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
  2. Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
  3. Faculty of Medicine and Healthy, University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England


Discretionary foods/beverages are highly palatable, inexpensive and ubiquitously available, making them easy to overeat. There is a stark departure from recommendations to consume them only ‘sometimes and in small amounts’, with intakes comprising 35% total energy of the average Australian diet (1). Comparing discretionary intake of healthy weight people to those with obesity may help to identify behavioural and dietary patterns associated with weight control.


To compare patterns of discretionary food/beverage intake in adults with and without obesity.


Healthy weight participants and participants with obesity will have a BMI of 19.0-24.9 kg/m2 and ≥ 30.0 kg/m2 respectively. Participants will be not be pregnant or breastfeeding, enrolled in a weight management programme, have previous bariatric surgery or a current eating disorder. Participants must be weight stable and have competent English literacy skills.


Participants will complete a four day ‘Food & Sleep Diary’ and will underline foods and beverages they perceive to be discretionary. A mood questionnaire will be completed at the end of each day. Once the diary is complete, a dietitian will identify discretionary foods/beverages using the Australian Health Survey Users' Guide.  Participants will complete the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire and perception of diet quality questionnaire.


This study aims to compare the amount (number of serves), percentage energy contribution, timing, weekend and weekday variation and form (food/beverage) of discretionary food/beverage intake between BMI categories. It will also assess the agreement between participant identified and dietitian identified discretionary food/beverages intake. The relationship between discretionary foods/beverage intake and sleep timing, mood, eating behaviour and perception of diet quality will be examined.

Hypotheses: Obesity is associated with greater daily serves of discretionary food/beverages, greater discretionary beverage intake and evening intake of discretionary foods/beverages.

Results: Preliminary results will be available at the time of the conference. 

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12 2015. Available from: