One Man's Tall is Another Man's Small: How the Framing of Portion-Size Influences Food Choice

Health Economics (2013)

31 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2016

See all articles by David Just

David Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Brian Wansink

Retired

Date Written: March 15, 2013

Abstract

Labels such as “Large,” or “Super-size” are often used to describe portion sizes. How do these normative labels influence consumer choice and how much they ultimately either consume or waste? While one might believe that firms use normative labels to impact choice behavior through loss aversion, a field experiment shows consumer willingness-to-pay is inconsistent with a loss aversion explanation. Though portions were clearly visible, individuals appeared to use the labels as objective information about their size. Importantly, a second study showed these labels also led people to eat less when food was given a larger sounding name than a smaller name (double vs. regular; regular vs. half-size). If labels are used as size information, policies governing normative names could help reduce food consumption or reduce waste.

Suggested Citation

Just, David and Wansink, Brian, One Man's Tall is Another Man's Small: How the Framing of Portion-Size Influences Food Choice (March 15, 2013). Health Economics (2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2473219

David Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States
6072552086 (Phone)

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

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