Might bigger portions of healthier snack food help?

Carolina O.C. Werle*, Chris Dubelaar, Natalina Zlatevska, Stephen S. Holden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Two experiments in France investigate how larger portions influence consumption of healthy foods. Our studies compare the portion-size effect across snack foods varying in healthiness (potato chips and apple chips) and in a healthy snack (carrots) in a field setting (a movie theatre). Study 1 showed that doubling the portions increased consumption of both healthy and unhealthy snacks. Study 2, conducted in a movie theatre, showed that high-school students ate more of a healthy snack (baby-carrots) when given a larger portion. It also investigated if the portion-size effect was moderated by the type of movie being watched. Portion-size effect was mitigated when participants watched a food-related (vs. food-unrelated) movie, suggesting that food-focus reduces the effect of the portion size cue. Increasing portion sizes of healthy snacks may be a promising way to promote healthier food consumption. Being exposed to a food-related movie, however, mitigates the effect of portion size on consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-184
Number of pages4
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Food-focus
  • Healthy food
  • Portion size
  • Snack


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