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Why foot-long sandwiches are a bad idea.

Seriously, Science?
By Seriously Science
Jun 27, 2013 10:00 PMNov 19, 2019 9:54 PM


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Photo: flickr/_BuBBy_

Many of us are trying to not eat ourselves to death, and we've been told that using smaller plates can help us eat less. Other research has proven that we drink more alcohol when drinking giant cocktails. But what about the size of individual snacks-- does the size of the snack unit change how much we eat? Could a larger sandwich trick you into eating more than a smaller sandwich? In this study, they had the participants eat a lunch comprised of unlimited numbers of sandwiches of a certain size and measured how many calories they ate. Turns out that yes, the participants ate more in total when eating giant sandwiches. Mmm... giant sandwiches!

Increasing the portion size of a sandwich increases energy intake. "OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the effect on energy intake of increasing the portion size of a food served as a discrete unit. DESIGN: A within-subject design with repeated measures was used. SUBJECTS/SETTING: The sample comprised 75 young adults (37 females and 38 males) from a university community. INTERVENTION: Individuals ate lunch in the lab once a week for 4 weeks. Each week, they were served one of four sizes of a deli-style sandwich (6, 8, 10, or 12 inches), of which they could eat as much as they wanted. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Energy intakes were determined for each meal, as were ratings of hunger and satiety before and after each meal. STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: A linear mixed model with repeated measures was used. The influence of subject characteristics was examined using analysis of covariance. RESULTS: The portion size of the sandwich significantly influenced lunch intake for both males and females APPLICATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that increasing the portion size of a food served as a discrete unit leads to increased energy intake at a single meal without differentially influencing ratings of hunger and satiety. Dietitians should educate their clients about strategies to moderate the effect on intake of increased portions of high-calorie foods."

Related content: NCBI ROFL: Why watching the Food Network could sabotage your diet.

NCBI ROFL: "No sh*t, Sherlock": weight loss edition.

NCBI ROFL: Prolonged chewing at lunch decreases later snack intake.

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