Estimating everyday portion size using a 'method of constant stimuli': In a student sample portion size is predicted by gender, dietary behaviour, and hunger, but not BMI

JM Brunstrom, PJ Rogers, EM Pothos, R Calitri, K Tapper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper (i) explores the proposition that body weight is associated with large portion sizes and (ii) introduces a new technique for measuring everyday portion size. In our paradigm, the participant is shown a picture of a food portion and is asked to indicate whether it is larger or smaller than their usual portion. After responding to a range of different portions an estimate of everyday portion size is calculated using probit analysis. Importantly, this estimate is likely to be robust because it is based on many responses. First-year undergraduate students (N = 151) completed our procedure for 12 commonly consumed foods. As expected, portion sizes were predicted by gender and by a measure of dieting and dietary restraint. Furthermore, consistent with reports of hungry supermarket shoppers, portion-size estimates tended to be higher in hungry individuals. However, we found no evidence for a relationship between BMI and portion size in any of the test foods. We consider reasons why this finding should be anticipated. In particular, we suggest that the difference in total energy expenditure of individuals with a higher and lower BMI is too small to be detected as a concomitant difference in portion size (at least in our sample).
Translated title of the contributionEstimating everyday portion size using a 'method of constant stimuli': In a student sample portion size is predicted by gender, dietary behaviour, and hunger, but not BMI
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296 - 301
Number of pages6
JournalAppetite
Volume51
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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