Size matters when comes to eating

Size matters when comes to eating

Want to lose weight? Try downsizing your tableware.

That’s the conclusion of a new study that found that the size of
bowls, spoons and other tableware influences how much people eat.

The study, by researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.,
involved 85 food and nutrition experts invited to an ice-cream social.

Each guest randomly received either 17-ounce or 34-ounce bowls and
either two-ounce or three-ounce serving scoops. The participants
scooped out the ice cream themselves.

"Just doubling the size of someone’s bowl increased how much people
took by 31 percent," study lead author Brian Wansink, director of
Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab, said in a prepared statement. "We also
saw that giving people a scoop that was a little bit larger increased
things by about 14.5 percent," he said.

He noted that even these food and nutrition experts, who were able
to judge the size and calorie counts of their portions, couldn’t help
themselves when given larger bowls and scoops.

"The fact that even they end up being tripped up by these cues just
helps to show how ubiquitous and how subversive these illusions can
be," said Wansink, a consumer researcher who studies the psychology of
food choice.

He noted that experts have documented a number of environmental
factors that influence consumption, including the variety of food,
music, temperature, and whether people are dining with a faster or
slower eater. The size of tableware also appears to be another factor
that influences consumption.

"Four ounces of ice cream in a small bowl may appear an appropriate
amount for a mid-afternoon snack, but the same in a larger bowl may
appear too small, leading one to over-serve," the study authors said.

The findings were expected to be published in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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