Influence of BMI and dietary restraint on self-selected portions of prepared meals in US women

David Labbe, Andréas Rytz, Jeffrey M. Brunstrom, Ciarán G. Forde, Nathalie Martin

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

9 Citations (Scopus)
394 Downloads (Pure)


The rise of obesity prevalence has been attributed in part to an increase in food and beverage portion sizes selected and consumed among overweight and obese consumers. Nevertheless, evidence from observations of adults is mixed and contradictory findings might reflect the use of small or unrepresentative samples. The objective of this study was i) to determine the extent to which BMI and dietary restraint predict self-selected portion sizes for a range of commercially available prepared savoury meals and ii) to consider the importance of these variables relative to two previously established predictors of portion selection, expected satiation and expected liking. A representative sample of female consumers (N = 300, range 18–55 years) evaluated 15 frozen savoury prepared meals. For each meal, participants rated their expected satiation and expected liking, and selected their ideal portion using a previously validated computer-based task. Dietary restraint was quantified using the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ-R). Hierarchical multiple regression was performed on self-selected portions with age, hunger level, and meal familiarity entered as control variables in the first step of the model, expected satiation and expected liking as predictor variables in the second step, and DEBQ-R and BMI as exploratory predictor variables in the third step. The second and third steps significantly explained variance in portion size selection (18% and 4%, respectively). Larger portion selections were significantly associated with lower dietary restraint and with lower expected satiation. There was a positive relationship between BMI and portion size selection (p = 0.06) and between expected liking and portion size selection (p = 0.06). Our discussion considers future research directions, the limited variance explained by our model, and the potential for portion size underreporting by overweight participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
Early online date9 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Nutrition and Behaviour


  • Portion size
  • Expected satiation
  • BMI
  • Dietary restraint
  • US adult female


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