Portion size: what we know and what we need to know.
Sommaire de l'article
There is increasing evidence that the portion sizes of many foods have increased and in a laboratory at least this increases the amount eaten. The conclusions are, however, limited by the complexity of the phenomenon. There is a need to consider meals freely chosen over a prolonged period when a range of foods of different energy densities are available. A range of factors will influence the size of the portion size chosen: amongst others packaging, labeling, advertising, and the unit size rather than portion size of the food item. The way portion size interacts with the multitude of factors that determine food intake needs to be established. In particular, the role of portion size on energy intake should be examined as many confounding variables exist and we must be clear that it is portion size that is the major problem. If the approach is to make a practical contribution, then methods of changing portion sizes will need to be developed. This may prove to be a problem in a free market, as it is to be expected that customers will resist the introduction of smaller portion sizes, given that value for money is an important motivator.