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The influence of expected satiety on portion size selection is reduced when food is presented in an ‘unusual’ meal context: THE INFLUENCE OF MEAL CONTEXT ON EXPECTED SATIETY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number104550
Number of pages7
Volume147 (2020)
Early online date5 Dec 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Dec 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 5 Dec 2019


Research shows that expected satiety is highly correlated with ideal portion size, however this correspondence has not been explored when a food is presented in an ‘unusual’ (incongruous) meal context. This study’s aim was to explore whether expected satiety influences portion selection to the same extent in both congruous and incongruous meal contexts. Forty participants completed two trials (one at breakfast and one at lunch) on separate days in a randomised counterbalanced order. They completed measures of expected satiety and ideal portion size for four typical breakfast foods and four typical lunch foods, using a bespoke computer program. Our results showed a significant difference between expected satiety and ideal portion size for lunch foods presented at breakfast time (an incongruous meal context; t(39) = 2.95, p = 0.02). There was no significant difference between expected satiety and ideal portion size in the other incongruous meal context (breakfast foods at lunch; t(39) = 2.10, p = 0.17) or in congruous meal contexts (breakfast foods at breakfast time, lunch foods at lunch time; both t(39) ≤ -0.15, p > 0.999). These results suggest that expected satiety does not have as strong an influence on portion selection when food is presented in an unusual context. Furthermore, in such contexts, smaller portions were selected 1) to stave off hunger until the next meal and 2) as ideal portions compared to in more usual meal contexts. Research is warranted to explore this finding further to understand its implications for weight management.

    Research areas

  • Expected satiation, expected satiety, meal planning, energy intake, portion size

    Structured keywords

  • Nutrition and Behaviour



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    Embargo ends: 5/12/20

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