Why the Size of Bowls and Spoons Influences Food Intake

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 145:5 (September 2006), 240-243

20 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2016

See all articles by Brian Wansink

Brian Wansink

Cornell University

Koert van Ittersum

University of Groningen

James Painter

Eastern Illinois University

Date Written: August 11, 2004

Abstract

Because we eat much of our food from plates, bowls, and spoons, it is important to know how and why the size of these bowls and spoons might influence food intake. Building on the Ebbinghaus-Titchener size-contrast illusion, we suggest that large bowls and spoons bias how much we intend to serve and how much we think we have served. A controlled study, at an ice cream social, shows that people who were randomly given bigger bowls and spoons served significantly more than those who received smaller bowls and spoons, even though they were unaware of this. Implications for research and controlling food intake are discussed.

Keywords: serving size, utensil size, ice cream, food intake, consumer behavior, obesity

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian and van Ittersum, Koert and Painter, James, Why the Size of Bowls and Spoons Influences Food Intake (August 11, 2004). American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 145:5 (September 2006), 240-243. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2714542

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Koert Van Ittersum

University of Groningen ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen
Netherlands

James Painter

Eastern Illinois University ( email )

Charleston, IL 61920-3099
United States
217-581-6677 (Phone)
217-581-6090 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://castle.eiu.edu/~jpainter/

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