Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How Size-related Food Labels Impact How Much We Eat

25.06.2013
Just, D. R., & Wansink, B. (2013). One man’s tall is another man’s small: How the framing of portion-size influences food choice. Health Economics, in press.
Just what size is a “small” drink—8 ounces, 12 ounces, 16 ounces? The truth is, those are all “small” sizes depending on what restaurants and fast food joints you go to. As customers, we are used to ordering food based on relative size, but according to a new study from Cornell University, these seemingly standard labels impact our entire eating experience.

One man’s tall is another man’s small
Dr. David R. Just and Dr. Brian Wansink of the Cornell Food & Brand Lab designed a study to understand how portion labels impact what you’re willing to pay for your food as well as how much you actually eat. The researchers served two different portion sizes of lunch items, including spaghetti: either 1 cup (small) or 2 cups (large).
The twist was in the labeling: for some participants, the small and large portions were labeled “Half-Size” and “Regular” respectively, giving the impression that the large 2-cup portion was the norm. For the others, however, the same portions were labeled “Regular” and “Double-Size”—indicating that the smaller 1-cup portion was the norm. These varying concepts of “Regular” portions made all the difference in how much people would spend and subsequently eat.

Portion Distortion
The researchers examined how people’s eating habits differed depending on these food labels. When served identical large portions of spaghetti, individuals ate much more when it was labeled “Regular” than when it was labeled “Double-Size;” in fact, those who thought it was “Double-size” left 10 times as much food on their plates!

To explore how portion labels impact how much patrons will pay, the researchers had people bid on each portion in an auction-like set up. When the portion was labeled “Half-Size,” participants were only willing to pay half as much as when the same portion had was labeled “Regular.” The labels themselves, rather than the visual appearance of each serving, acted as indicators of the amount of food on each plate compared to a hypothetical normal serving.

The study indicated that people primarily use labels alone to dictate how much food is a ‘normal’ portion and that they adjust their intake accordingly. These studies together show that people are not only willing to pay more for a portion that sounds larger but also that they will eat more of an enormous portion if they believe it is “Regular” to do so.

The huge impact of size labels suggests that both consumers and producers could benefit from standardization of food size-labeling; clearly defining the actual amount of food in a “small” or a “large” would inform customers of just how much food they are ordering every time they ask for a certain size. Until then, take the time to think about what portion you’re really getting when you order your standard “Medium” meal!

Article Summary by Kelsey Gatto
Full text paper:
(read here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hec.2949/full)

Sandra Cuellar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>