Advertisements of “super size” or “free size upgrade” often draw people’s attention in restaurants. But, a recent study speaks that we need to set up policies and practices to reduce sizes of food or appeal of large-sized food to control our food consumption.
Hollands at the University of Cambridge, UK and his colleagues examined how interventions involving different sizes or portions, packages, and items of tableware influence consumption of food, alcohol, and tobacco in adults and children.
The researchers reviewed 72 randomized controlled trials, and found that people consistently consumed more food and had more non-alcoholic drinks when larger-sized portions, packages or items of tableware such as plates and glasses were presented than smaller-sized versions were offered. Also, adults, not children, chose more food including non-alcoholic drinks when offered larger-sized portions, packages or items of tableware. Those effects were shown consistent across both men and women, in those who are overweight and on a diet.
This study sheds light on potentially effective intervention development to control food consumption and obesity. However, the authors say that further research is needed to clarify whether reducing portions at smaller end of the size range can be as effective in reducing food consumption as reductions at the larger end of the range. The effects on alcohol and tobacco also need more investigation.