Study: Portion size is all in your mind

Jun 21, 2006

U.S. researchers say you can ignore the number of portions listed on nutrition labels -- the scientists say portion size is all in your mind.

Andrew Geier, a doctoral candidate in experimental psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues investigated the psychology of consumption and found people have a strong tendency to eat a single unit of food, regardless of the unit's size or caloric value.

The researchers offered free food in public areas, varying the size of the product unit and the size of the serving utensil. The results, they say, demonstrate an identifiable unit bias, with passersby taking a single spoonful of food without consideration for its size or quantity.

Since the experiment was conducted both within eyesight of others and in a more discreet location, the researchers say bias in favor of consuming a single unit cannot be attributed solely to the avoidance of perceptible gluttony.

They said the concept of unit bias helps explain how environmental differences in portion and package sizes impact overall consumption and might lead to a better understanding of the psychology of obesity.

The study appears in the journal Psychological Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: House call primary care practices vary substantially

Related Stories

The size of domestic animals has increased over time

May 19, 2015

The paper on Zooarchaeology 'Livestock management in Spain from Roman to post-medieval times: a biometrical analysis of cattle, sheep/goat and pig' by the researcher of the Department of Geography, Prehistory ...

16 new lettuce breeding lines from ARS

May 15, 2015

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in California have developed 16 new lettuce breeding lines. Lettuce production in the United States is concentrated mostly in California and Arizona, where ...

Recommended for you

House call primary care practices vary substantially

2 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Home-based primary care practices vary in terms of size and approaches to quality of care assessment, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics So ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.