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Might bigger portions of healthier snack food help?
- Werle, Carolina O.C., Dubelaar, Chris, Zlatevska, Natalina, Holden, Stephen S.
- Food quality and preference 2019 v.71 pp. 181-184
- field experimentation, healthy diet, high school students, portion size, snack foods, snacks
- Two experiments in France investigate how larger portions influence consumption of healthy foods. Our studies compare the portion-size effect across snack foods varying in healthiness (potato chips and apple chips) and in a healthy snack (carrots) in a field setting (a movie theatre). Study 1 showed that doubling the portions increased consumption of both healthy and unhealthy snacks. Study 2, conducted in a movie theatre, showed that high-school students ate more of a healthy snack (baby-carrots) when given a larger portion. It also investigated if the portion-size effect was moderated by the type of movie being watched. Portion-size effect was mitigated when participants watched a food-related (vs. food-unrelated) movie, suggesting that food-focus reduces the effect of the portion size cue. Increasing portion sizes of healthy snacks may be a promising way to promote healthier food consumption. Being exposed to a food-related movie, however, mitigates the effect of portion size on consumption.