The partitioning paradox: The big bite around small packages

Stephen S. Holden, Natalina Zlatevska*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We replicate the research of Do Vale et al. (2008) and Scott et al. (2008) showing that the diet-conscious tend to eat more when a portion is broken into multiple smaller partitions than when it is unpartitioned. The results show that the partitioning paradox is clearer when diet-consciousness is manipulated than measured. A meta-analysis reveals that the partitioning paradox among the diet-conscious is a medium size effect, but also that partitioning has an opposite and equal size effect on the non-diet conscious: they eat more from the unpartitioned than the partitioned package.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-233
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Food consumption
  • Package size
  • Partitioning
  • Portion size
  • Restrained eaters


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