Keeping pace with your eating: Visual feedback affects eating rate in humans

  • ML Bosworth (Creator)
  • ML Bosworth (Contributor)
  • JM Brunstrom (Contributor)
  • N Godinot (Contributor)
  • LL Wilkinson (Contributor)
  • N Martin (Contributor)
  • Jeffrey Michael Brunstrom (Contributor)
  • PJ Rogers (Contributor)
  • Danielle Ferriday (Data Manager)



Raw data for the paper entitled "Keeping pace with your eating: Visual feedback affects eating rate in humans".
Abstract: Deliberately eating at a slower pace promotes satiation and produces a sustained reduction in body weight. Therefore, understanding factors that affect eating rate should be given high priority. Eating rate is affected by the physical/textural properties of a food, by motivational state, and by portion size and palatability. This study explored the prospect that eating rate is also influenced by a hitherto unexplored cognitive process that uses ongoing perceptual estimates of the volume of food remaining in a container to adjust intake during a meal. A 2 (amount seen; 300ml or 500ml) x 2 (amount eaten; 300ml or 500ml) between-subjects design was employed (10 participants in each condition). In two ‘congruent’ conditions, the same amount was seen at the outset and then subsequently consumed (300ml or 500ml). To dissociate visual feedback of portion size and actual amount consumed, food was covertly added or removed from a bowl using a peristaltic pump. This created two additional ‘incongruent’ conditions, in which 300ml was seen but 500ml was eaten or vice versa. We repeated these conditions using a savoury soup and a sweet dessert. Eating rate (ml per second) was assessed during lunch. After lunch we assessed fullness over a 60-minute period. In the congruent conditions, eating rate was unaffected by the actual volume of food that was consumed (300ml or 500ml). By contrast, we observed a marked difference across the incongruent conditions. Specifically, participants who saw 300ml but actually consumed 500ml ate at a faster rate than participants who saw 500ml but actually consumed 300ml. Participants were unaware that their portion size had been manipulated. Nevertheless, when it disappeared faster or slower than anticipated they adjusted their rate of eating accordingly. This suggests that the control of eating rate involves visual feedback and is not a simple reflexive response to orosensory stimulation.
Date made available11 Mar 2015
PublisherUniversity of Bristol


  • Visual cues
  • Eating rate
  • Perceived volume
  • Oral metering
  • Portion size

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