Dining out? A doggy bag offer might help you eat less.
In a 2018 study, researchers randomly assigned 53 women to either a “to-go” group (which was told before they ate that their leftover food would be packaged in a doggy bag) or a control group (which wasn’t told about the bags).
Both groups were served dinners with one of four serving sizes: typical portions eaten by similar women in an earlier study or 25, 50, or 75 percent more.
Average calories consumed by the control group rose from 600 for the typical portion to 680, 780, and 760 for the three larger servings. The doggy bag group’s calories rose more slowly: from 600 to 610, 670, and, finally, to 690 for the largest serving.
What to do
Most restaurants serve oversized portions of nearly everything. Ask for a doggy bag (or bring your own reusable container).
- Our tried-and-true healthy restaurant tips
- How larger portions influence later choices
- Six strategies to help you say no to junk food
The information in this post first appeared in the September 2018 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.
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