Presented by the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Snacking is an ubiquitous eating behavior in the US. Research has documented both positive, neutral, and negative relationships between snacking and weight management. From a positive weight management viewpoint, snacking may assist with controlling hunger either psychologically and/or physiologically, maintaining metabolic rate, aiding with achievement of energy requirements during healthy growth phases (i.e.,childhood), and enhancing dietary quality. Alternatively, snacking may have no effect or even be detrimental to weight management by contributing to excessive energy intake through additional eating occasions in which overeating may occur via various methods (exposure to food cues in general and/or to larger portion sizes, greater diet variety, higher energy-density options, and energy-laden beverages), and decreasing dietary quality. Conflicting findings may be a consequence of the lack of a standard definition of snacking, thus studies may be examining different aspects of snacking (i.e., timing and frequency, size and type of foods and beverages consumed, and energy-balance state and previous snacking history of participants) and developing differing conclusions. This symposium will evaluate the evidence behind snacking in a debate-like forum exploring the good, the bad, and the quality of research. It will end by providing a practical application for snacking that will benefit all clinicians.


3:45pm What is snacking?
Hollie A Raynor, PhD
3:55pm Debate: Snacking is Helpful in Weight Management: Nina Crowley, PhD RDN LDN Snacking is not Helpful in Weight Management: Jennifer Orlet Fisher, PhD
4:45pm Individualizing Treatment Goals for Snacking in Weight Management.
Sue Cummings, MS RD
5:05pm Discussion