The influence of food characteristics, activated goals and dietary restraint on the portion size effect
01 / 2012 - 01 / 2016
The portion size effect, the increase in intake when the food portion size is increased, is believed to be an important contributor to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity (Chandon 2012, Rozin et al 2003). Although the existence of the portion size effect has been clearly established, less is known about the moderators and boundary conditions of the effect. The aim of this research is to (1) determine to what extent the portion size effect differs for foods that differ in perceived palatability and perceived fattiness, (2) investigate the moderating effect of the activation of a health or food-enjoyment goal on the portion size effect, and (3) to investigate the role of dietary restrained in susceptibility to the portion size effect. We will examine this using lab experiments in which the portion size, perceived palatability of the food, fattiness of the food, and goal activation will be independently manipulated. When we have a better understanding of the factors that can strengthen or diminish susceptibility to the portion size effect, we can use this knowledge to strengthen the portion size effect for healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and diminish it for unhealthy foods.