Although there is no authoritative definition for the terms “snack” and “snacking",
|Snacking is a ubiquitous practice that has increased in recent years. However, the impact of snacking on the diet is difficult to assess because a variety of approaches have been used to define snacking (and snack foods) in the literature. This lack of a universally accepted definition complicates interpretation of the literature and limits the development of science-based recommendations for consumers. It is suggested that a universally accepted definition for snacking be developed by a coalition of stakeholders to provide a template for future research, guidance for the food industry and to enable the development of well-substantiated dietary recommendations.1|
One proposed definition states that:
|A snack is composed of solid food(s), including those typically eaten with a utensil (with or without a beverage) that occurs between habitual meal occasions for the individual, is not a substitute for a meal and provides substantially fewer calories that would be consumed in a typical meal.” 1|
This proposed definition provides general guidelines of what a snack might consist of while also emphasizing mindful eating and portion size by indicating that a snack should provide fewer calories than a meal. Note that no general consensus has currently been reached on a definition for snacking. In order to better understand the role of snacking in a healthy lifestyle, a key group of stakeholders must discuss and decide on a universally accepted definition of snacking.