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Impact of altering proximity on snack food intake in individuals with high and low executive function: study protocol

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Public Health, June 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (87th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
2 tweeters


7 Dimensions

Readers on

64 Mendeley
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Impact of altering proximity on snack food intake in individuals with high and low executive function: study protocol
Published in
BMC Public Health, June 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3184-9
Pubmed ID

Jennifer A. Hunter, Gareth J. Hollands, Dominique-Laurent Couturier, Theresa M. Marteau


Despite attempts to improve diet at population level, people living in material and social deprivation continue to consume unhealthy diets. Executive function - the ability to regulate behaviour and resist impulses - is weaker in individuals living in deprivation. Dietary interventions that educate and persuade people to reflect on and actively change behaviour may therefore disproportionately benefit individuals who are socioeconomically advantaged and have stronger executive function, thus exacerbating inequalities in health resulting from unhealthy diets. In contrast, manipulating environmental cues, such as how far away a food is placed, does not appeal to reasoned action and is thought to operate largely outside of awareness to influence behaviour. People eat more of a food when it is placed closer to them, an effect seemingly robust to context, food quality and body-weight status. However, previous studies of this 'proximity effect' are limited by small samples consisting mainly of university staff or students, biased towards higher socio-economic position and therefore likely stronger executive function. This study aims to test the hypothesis that placing food further away from a person decreases intake of that food regardless of executive function. 156 members of the general public, recruited from low and high socio-economic groups, will be randomised to one of two conditions varying in the proximity of a snack food relative to their position: 20 cm or 70 cm. Participants are told they will be taking part in a relaxation study - and are fully debriefed at the conclusion of the session. The primary outcome is the proportion of participants eating any amount of snack food and the secondary outcome is the mean amount eaten. Executive function is assessed using the Stroop task. The proposed study takes a novel step by investigating the effect of proximity on snack food intake in a general population sample consisting of those with high and low executive function, appropriately powered to detect the predicted proximity effect. If this effect occurs irrespective of executive function and socio-economic position, it may have potential to reduce inequalities patterned by socio-economic position if implemented in real-world settings such as shops or restaurants. Registered with the ISRCTN registry: ISRCTN46995850 on 07 October 2015.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 64 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 64 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 16 25%
Student > Ph. D. Student 14 22%
Researcher 7 11%
Student > Bachelor 5 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 5%
Other 9 14%
Unknown 10 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 21 33%
Nursing and Health Professions 8 13%
Social Sciences 5 8%
Medicine and Dentistry 4 6%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 5%
Other 10 16%
Unknown 13 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 13. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 20 June 2016.
All research outputs
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Outputs from BMC Public Health
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Public Health
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Altmetric has tracked 15,917,790 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,941 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 83% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 268,022 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them