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Designing Pictogram for Food Portion Size

Authors: Y.C. Liu, S.J. Lu, Y.C. Weng, H. Su


The objective of this paper is to investigate a new approach based on the idea of pictograms for food portion size. This approach adopts the model of the United States Pharmacopeia- Drug Information (USP-DI). The representation of each food portion size composed of three parts: frame, the connotation of dietary portion sizes and layout. To investigate users- comprehension based on this approach, two experiments were conducted, included 122 Taiwanese people, 60 male and 62 female with ages between 16 and 64 (divided into age groups of 16-30, 31-45 and 46-64). In Experiment 1, the mean correcting rate of the understanding level of food items is 48.54% (S.D.= 95.08) and the mean response time 2.89sec (S.D.=2.14). The difference on the correct rates for different age groups is significant (P*=0.00<0.05). In Experiment 2, the correcting rate of selecting the right life-size measurement aid is 65.02% (S.D.=21.31). The result showed the potential of the approach for certain food potion sizes. Issues raised for discussions including comprehension on numerous food varieties in an open environment, selection of photograph or drawing, reasons of different correcting rates for the measurement aid. This research also could be used for those interested in systematic and pictorial representation of dietary portion size information.

Keywords: Comprehension, Food Portion Size, Model of DietaryInformation, Pictogram Design, USP-DI.

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