Factors associated with food intake in passengers on long-haul flights

Jim Waterhouse, Shaoyuan Kao, Benjamin Edwards, Greg Atkinson, Thomas Reilly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    To understand better how disruption to daily routines and circadian factors affect food intake, some aspects of 361 passengers' eating habits during long-haul flights across eight time zones were investigated. Two meals were provided during each flight. Passengers stated whether or not they had eaten part or all of each meal and the reasons for this decision. They were also asked to give their responses to it (appetite beforehand, enjoyment during the meal, and satiety afterwards), and the type of meal they would prefer to have eaten, given an unrestricted choice. There were few occasions (<6%) when a meal was refused altogether, and no single reason was dominant. Subjective responses to food intake were more positive when larger meals were eaten and "appetite" rather than "no choice" was given as the reason for eating. Subjective responses were also more positive in those who thought the size of the meal offered was neither too small nor too large. When the two meals were considered separately, the first meal was well received by the passengers, and their enjoyment of it was not significantly different from "normal." The second meal (offered soon before landing in the new time zone) was less well received, and many passengers would have preferred a smaller meal. The findings contribute to an understanding of the factors determining the decision to eat a meal and the subjective responses to the food that is eaten. They also have implications for airlines wishing to provide food that is acceptable to passengers and for those providing meals for night workers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)985-1007
    Number of pages23
    JournalChronobiology International
    Volume23
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006

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