Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Big Forks Make You Eat Less?

You might be able to trick yourself into EATING LESS by using a BIGGER FORK, a new
Photo credit:
study conducted by the Business school researchers at the University of Utah suggests (published in
Journal of Consumer Research). 
The study aimed to find, in field study, whether there is a difference in intake between people provided 2 different sized forks:
  • A larger fork that held 20 % more food than the fork usually used restaurants
  • A smaller fork that held 20 % less than the usual utensil
Turns Out >> When eating out, people who used a large fork for bigger bites ate less than those who used a smaller utensil. The reason, the study authors suggested, is that people who eat out have a well-defined goal of satisfying their hunger. This makes them more willing to invest energy as well as resources to meet that goal, such as making menu selections, eating and paying the check.
    "The fork size provided the diners with a means to observe their goal progress. The physiological feedback of feeling full, or the satiation signal, comes with a time lag. In its absence, diners focus on the visual cue of whether they are making any dent on the food on their plate to assess goal progress." 

Note that these findings apply to restaurant customers only, not people eating at home who may not have the same goals of satiating their hunger as restaurant customers. Therefore, to avoid overeating, the researchers suggested that people are ought to learn to better recognize, understand & respond to their hunger and satiety cues rather than relying on perceived food portions or utensils sizes!