Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Size matters: Why do people eat less when they have big forks?

Date:
July 15, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Larger portion sizes usually mean we eat more food, but according to new study, bigger bites lead to eating less -- in restaurant settings.

Larger portion sizes usually mean we eat more food, but according to new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, bigger bites lead to eating less -- in restaurant settings.

Related Articles


"In this research we examined the influence of small versus large bite-sizes on overall quantity of food consumed," write authors Arul Mishra, Himanshu Mishra, and Tamara M. Masters (all University of Utah, Salt Lake City).

The authors conducted a field study in a popular Italian restaurant. They used two sizes of forks to manipulate bite sizes and found that diners who used large forks ate less than those with small forks.

The authors then began to investigate why this finding seems to contradict earlier research on portion sizes. "We observe that diners visit the restaurant with a well-defined goal of satiating their hunger and because of this well-defined goal they are willing to invest effort and resources to satiate their hunger goal," the authors write. Diners can satisfy their hunger by choosing, eating, and paying for their food -- all of which involve effort.

"The fork size provided the diners with a means to observe their goal progress," the authors explain. "The physiological feedback of feeling full or the satiation signal comes with a time lag. In its absence diners focus on the visual cue of whether they are making any dent on the food on their plate to assess goal progress."

The authors tested this conclusion by varying the quantities of food. They found that when the initial quantity of food was more (a well-loaded plate) diners with small forks ate significantly more than those with large forks. When customers were served small servings, the fork size did not affect the amount of food. Interestingly, in a lab experiment the authors found that participants with small forks consumed less than those with large forks. The authors believe that the participants did not have the same goals of satiating hunger as the restaurant customers did.

To avoid overeating, the authors suggest consumers learn to better understand hunger cues. "People do not have clear internal cues about the appropriate quantity to consume," the authors write. "They allow external cues, such as fork size, to determine the amount they should consume."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arul Mishra, Himanshu Mishra and Tamara M. Masters. The Influence of Bite Size on Quantity of Food Consumed: A Field Study. Journal of Consumer Research, February 2012 (published online June 2, 2011) [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Size matters: Why do people eat less when they have big forks?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714150949.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, July 15). Size matters: Why do people eat less when they have big forks?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714150949.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Size matters: Why do people eat less when they have big forks?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714150949.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins