A study by Cornell University researchers finds that when young adults are served larger portions from one week to the next they overeat by almost 40 percent. Eating larger portions over time could account for the growth of the American girth over the past 20 years, the researchers say.
"The more food we served to the college-student volunteers in our eating study, the more they ate," says David Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences and of psychology at Cornell. "Since we know that restaurants are serving larger and larger food portions, we think that larger portions could be a major factor responsible for the increase in overweight and obesity that is so evident today."
Levitsky and former Cornell undergraduate student Trisha Youn 01, now a student at New York University School of Medicine, asked 13 volunteers to eat a buffet lunch three times during a week. The volunteers were not told that their portions had been weighed. During the following week, the students ate three meals: Some were served portions of the same weight as the previous week, others were served portions weighing 125 percent or 150 percent more.
Susan S. Lang | EurekAlert!
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