How far could you take this?

How far could you take this?

A Wall St. Journal article about 100 calorie packs –a new gimmick from the food companies to help people control the portions they eat– got me thinking. The article cited a study I read about before, where researchers gave participants the same foods but varied the portion size. Some people got the standard sized portion, others got one 50% bigger, and others got one twice as big. People who got the 50% bigger plate ate 16% more than those with the standard portion, and those with the double size ate 26% more.

Here’s my question: How far could that curve be extrapolated? What if portion sized doubled again? Would people still eat more? How about if it were increased by a factor of 5 or 6? When does the gross out factor set in and people refuse to eat at all?

July 18, 2006

3 thoughts on “How far could you take this?”

  1. Dogs will continue to eat as long as food is in front of them.

    At some level, we’re all dogs. Gross-out limits don’t stop us, PAIN stops us!



  2. Absolutely right, Flea. We need to be more like cats. Mine stop eating when they’ve had enough.

    As long as we’re on the topic of how much Americans eat, though, let me toss out this question: Let’s say we wake up tomorrow morning, and every American “gets it” and decides to limit his or her caloric intake to something like 2,000 a day. What does that do for the food suppliers and farmers? Seems to me that our food and farm industry has a stake in not seeing us wise up about intake.

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