bigger_fork.jpgPrevious studies show that you eat more if you have larger portions food, but new findings published in the Journal of Consumer Research say it's not necessarily food portion size that contributes to how much food you eat, but how large your bites are--if you're eating in a restaurant, that is.

"In this research we examined the influence of small versus large bite-sizes on overall quantity of food consumed," authors Arul Mishra, Himanshu Mishra, and Tamara M. Masters are quoted as saying on They used two fork sizes on a set of participating diners and observed that those who used larger forks consumed less compared to those using the smaller ones.

Diners go to restaurants with the specific purpose of satisfying their hunger through choosing, consuming, and paying for their food, the researchers note. "The fork size provided the diners with a means to observe their goal progress. The physiological feedback of feeling full or the satiation signal comes with a time lag. In its absence diners focus on the visual cue of whether they are making any dent on the food on their plate to assess goal progress," Mishra explains.

To test their assumption, they used the same large-sized portion of food for the diners, and the results showed those using bigger forks ate less. They did note, however, that when the food served was in small portions, the fork size didn't make a difference in the amount of food consumed.

Interestingly enough, when they duplicated the experiment in a laboratory, the participants with smaller forks were the ones who ate less. The researchers think this is because the volunteers didn't have the same hunger goals as the diners.

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(Photo by S Baker via Flickr Creative Commons)
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