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Appetite. 2006 Jan;46(1):103-5. Epub 2005 Nov 16.

Effects on hunger and satiety, perceived portion size and pleasantness of taste of varying the portion size of foods: a brief review of selected studies.

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  • 1Weight and Eating Disorders Program, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3535 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The portion size of foods has been identified as an important environmental factor known to affect short-term energy intake. Experiments that were conducted both in the free-living environment and in laboratory-based settings to investigate the effects of portion size on energy intake unanimously showed that as the portion size of food increased, so did subjects' energy intake. Despite the fact that the profound effects of portion size on energy intake are well documented, the mechanisms by which portion size affects energy intake are poorly understood. There is some evidence that sensory influences (e.g. visual and olfactory cues), cognitive factors (e.g. learning, social norms, monetary considerations), and post-ingestive consequences (e.g. sensations of hunger and fullness) related to the portion size of foods may interact to affect the amount of food that is consumed during a meal.

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