Size Of Packaging Influences Portion Control Perception

Depending on the size of your food package, your perception of a healthy portion size will vary, according to a new study from the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) and the University of Surrey.

The study, which included 13,177 participants from six European countries, found that men were more affected by larger pack sizes and that differences existed between countries in terms of what individuals considered a portion size.

Overall, researchers found that when participants were presented with larger pack sizes, they guessed that portion sizes were larger, too.

“Our results indicate a small but significant ‘pack size effect’ across all countries and for different types of food and drinks,” said Dr. Sophie Hieke, Head of Consumer Insights at EUFIC. “If people were to actually consume the portions they estimate in this study, there would be a substantial increase in energy intake in each of these eating occasions.”

Other factors

The study also found that people who thought portion information on packaging was irrelevant had a tendency to estimate bigger portion sizes, while age also played a role in portion-size guessing: older people tended to estimate smaller portion sizes.

More research is needed to determine how and why people estimate portions the way they do, the authors stated.

“Answering this question would give us insight into the conceptualisation of food portions in people’s minds and the rationale behind the ratings people give in portion size experiments,” said Professor Monique Raats, Director of the University of Surrey’s Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre.

Source: MedicalXpress

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2018
Company Information

© 2018 All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.