Serve people more food and they’ll eat more. But does the size of each food item or the number of items matter most?
In a recent study, researchers offered 186 people a plate of brownies to eat while watching a video. Each plate held 1, 2, 4, or 8 brownie squares in one of three sizes: ¼ oz., ½ oz., or 1 oz.
Overall, people tended to eat more when the plate held a smaller number of large brownies than when it held a larger number of small brownies. For example, 60 percent of the participants ate two 1 oz. brownies, but only 40 percent ate four ½ oz. brownies and a mere 18 percent ate eight ¼ oz. brownies (even though each of the three plates held 2 oz. of brownies).
What to do: Want to eat less? Stick with smaller-size items.
- One good way to downsize your restaurant meal
- How larger portions influence later choices
- Should you use a smaller plate size to cut calories?
Photo: Kaamilah Mitchell/CSPI.
The information in this article first appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.
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