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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is snacking associated with obesity?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Kaye Haslam

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    As a private practice Dietitian/Nutritionist with over 30 years experience I have a special interest in weight management & related health issues such as Diabetes, … View Profile

    It would depend on what the snacks were.
    High energy snacks such as lollies, chocolates, sweet biscuits, cakes, buns, icyploes, chips, twisties,soft drinks etc. could contribute to obesity in susceptible children.
    Lower energy, more nutritious snacks such as fruit, nuts, yoghurts, plain icecream, etc. would be better choices & in moderation can help control hunger & overeating.

  • 1


    Sarah Perkins

    Dietitian, Exercise Scientist, Nutritionist

    Sarah is a Dietitian, Exercise Scientist & Nutritionist.Sarah is the director of the successful diet and exercise clinic Eat Play Live in Sydney’s inner west. … View Profile

    Healthy snacks are a great way to manage hunger, decrease the amount that you eat at your next meal and improve energy levels.

    However many snacks that are easily available in todays food supply are not portion controlled and can almost be a small (or large) meal that have very low nutritonal quality.

    Continuously “munching” on food or sipping energy dense drinks  for hours and not having a meals & snacks can lead to over eating, feeling unsatisfied and looking for more energy dense (low nutrient) foods.

    Planning 1-3 snacks/day (depending on your nutritional and energy needs) can be a great part of your everyday diet. Dairy foods, fruit,  lean meats, vegetables & low fat dip and nuts can make great  healthy snacks.

  • Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Snacking and super sizing are two of the dieter's worst enemies, research suggests.  The average daily calorie intake in Australia has increased largely due to the bigger portion sizes and excessive snacking on high-calorie foods. Focusing on reducing how much and how often people eat could help tackle obesity.
    For those trying to control their weight, it is important to manage both how much and how often they eat. When people snack they are often unaware of eating, particularly if they are doing another activity (watching TV, socialising, at the movies) at the same time. Everything you eat should go on a plate and you should be sitting down to eat it. Eating slowly is also very important and focusing on enjoying your food.
    Several factors are involved in energy intake - the number of calories (energy) in a specific amount of food (energy density), portion size and how many meals and snacks a day are eaten. The researchers say that while all of these have gone up, increases in the number of eating occasions and portion size seem to account for most of the change. They suggest efforts to prevent obesity should focus on reducing the number of snacks and meals a day as well as portion size and drinks consumed each day.

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