Dallacker, M., Mata, J., & Hertwig, R. (2019). Toward simple eating rules for the land of plenty. In R. Hertwig, T. Pleskac, T. Pachur, & the Center for Adaptive Rationality (Eds.), Taming uncertainty (pp. xx–xx). Boston, MA: MIT Press. doi:XXXXXXX


Welcome! In this interactive element you can experience an experiment referenced in Chapter 6 that tested parents’ intuitive knowledge about the sugar content of different products (Dallacker, Hertwig & Mata, 2018).

High sugar intake plays a critical role in today's obesity epidemic. Accordingly, new guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. Reducing daily intake to below 5%—roughly 25 grams, or 8 sugar cubes— would provide additional health benefits.

You will see images of 20 foods and beverages in a typical serving size. Your task is to estimate how much sugar each one contains. The sugar content is measured in sugar cubes, with 1 cube equalling 3 g of sugar. Specify the amount of sugar by dragging the slider left or right. The estimation scale starts with zero sugar cubes and goes up to 20 sugar cubes at half-cube intervals. After you have rated all 20 products, you will get the chance to compare your estimates with both the real values and estimates from other readers.

Brötchen/ Bread Roll 60g


The modern food environment is replete with uncertainty. One source of uncertainty is not knowing how much sugar is in our food, even though sugar consumption is a potential contributor to overweight and obesity. The World Health Organization recommends reducing consumption of free sugars to less than 10% of total daily energy intake (50 g, or 16 sugar cubes’ worth, for an average adult). People need a good understanding of how much sugar is in the foods they eat in order to be able to meet those guidelines. The goal of this task was to help you gauge how well you estimate how much sugar is in some of the foods you may eat, and to show you how well your fellow readers perform in the same task. Dallacker, Hertwig, and Mata (2018) found that parents considerably underestimated the sugar content of most foods and beverages—for instance, 92% of parents underestimated the sugar content of yogurt by, on average, 7 sugar cubes. The degree to which they underestimated sugar content was associated with a higher risk of their child being overweight or obese. For ideas about how parents can use this information to help their children eat better see Chapter 6 in Taming Uncertainty.

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