The Influence of Bite-Size on Quantity of Food Consumed: A Field Study

17 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011  

Arul Mishra

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Himanshu Mishra

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Tamara M. Masters

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Date Written: April 24, 2011

Abstract

While research has extensively investigated how portion sizes can influence the quantity of food consumed, relatively little work has been done to explore how bite size influences overall consumption. This research seeks to address this concern. In a field study, we collected data in a restaurant and manipulated bite size by providing diners with small or large forks. We found that diners consumed more from smaller rather than larger forks. Utilizing motivation literature, which tie in to the unique factors present in a restaurant consumption setting (e.g. diners have a well-defined goal of hunger satiation because of which they invest effort by visiting a specific restaurant, choosing from a menu, paying money), we present our rationale for the pattern of results. Moreover, in a controlled lab study we demonstrate that when these factors are absent the pattern of results is reversed.

Keywords: bite size, food consumption, portion size, fork, overconsumption, field study, goals, goal progress, hunger

JEL Classification: C91, M30, M31, M39, D81, C91, D80, D89, J18, E21

Suggested Citation

Mishra, Arul and Mishra, Himanshu and Masters, Tamara M., The Influence of Bite-Size on Quantity of Food Consumed: A Field Study (April 24, 2011). Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1821783

Arul Mishra (Contact Author)

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

Himanshu Mishra

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9304
United States

HOME PAGE: http://himanshumishra.com

Tamara M. Masters

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 E Campus Center Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9303
United States

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