Food for thought: Why fun-sized foods won't ward off bulging waistline

06 July 2008


A study on university students given packets of crisps to eat has shown that 'diet packs' of snacks lure lunchers into eating more than they otherwise would.  Rik Peters and his colleagues at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands recruited 140 volunteers to watch TV, and gave them either 2 large bags of crisps or 9 small bags of crisps to eat.

CrispsAdditionally, half the students were put into a weight-conscious mindset by weighing them in front of a mirror before the TV session started.  The team then totted up how much the volunteers ate.  Amongst the non-weighed participants, 75% opened their small bags and 50% opened their big bags of crisps; both groups ate about the same amount.  But amongst the weight-conscious cohort, only 25% opened their bigs bags and actually ate LESS than the 59% who opened their small bags.  Writing in the Journal of Consumer Research, the team think that the diet-conscious group exercised less self-control because it was a pre-portioned pack and therefore they could lower their dietary-guards and over indulge.  

So the moral of this story is that, when it comes to diet food, more is less!


Add a comment