Portion Size and the Obesity Epidemic

Tanja V. E. Kral and Barbara J. Rolls

in The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736362
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Portion Size and the Obesity Epidemic

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This chapter considers whether portion size plays a role in the etiology of obesity. The portion size of an amorphous food can significantly affect energy intake in adults. Intake of beverages is influenced by the portion served. The availability of large portions of food and beverages over a number of days is connected with a sustained increase in energy intake. Changes in the portion size and energy density of foods do indicate potential to be used either independently or in combination to counter overconsumption without adversely affecting sensations of hunger and fullness. The dietary and food marketing strategies that can moderate portion-size effects on energy intake include promotion of consumer education and awareness, food labels and point-of-purchase information, value size pricing, package size, and portion-controlled packaging; serving larger portions of healthy foods; reducing portion size and energy density; and improvement of the nutrition knowledge of restaurant chefs.

Keywords: portion size; obesity; etiology; energy intake; healthy foods; beverages; energy density; package size; nutrition

Article.  8116 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare

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