Sizing up the effect of portion size on consumption: A meta-analytic review

Zlatevska, Natalina, Dubelaar, Chris and Holden, Stephen S. 2014, Sizing up the effect of portion size on consumption: A meta-analytic review, Journal of marketing, vol. 78, no. 3, pp. 140-154.

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Title Sizing up the effect of portion size on consumption: A meta-analytic review
Author(s) Zlatevska, Natalina
Dubelaar, Chris
Holden, Stephen S.
Journal name Journal of marketing
Volume number 78
Issue number 3
Start page 140
End page 154
Total pages 15
Publisher American Marketing Association
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1547-7185
Keyword(s) portion size
food marketing
consumption norm
unit bias
Summary Food marketing is facing increasing challenges in using portion size (e.g., “supersizing”) as a marketing tool.Marketers have used portion size to attract customers and encourage purchase, but social agencies areexpressing concern that larger portion sizes encourage greater consumption, which can cause excessiveconsumption and obesity. This article addresses two questions that are central to this debate: (1) How much effectdoes portion size have on consumption? and (2) Are there limits to this effect? A meta-analytic review reveals that,for a doubling of portion size, consumption increases by 35% on average. However, the effect has limits. Anextended analysis shows that the effect of portion size is curvilinear: as portions become increasingly larger, theeffect diminishes. In addition, although the portion-size effect is widespread and robust across a range of individualand environmental factors, the analysis shows that it is weaker among children, women, and overweightindividuals, as well as for nonsnack food items and in contexts in which more attention is given to the food beingeaten.
Language eng
Field of Research 150506 Marketing Theory
Socio Economic Objective 909999 Commercial Services and Tourism not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, The American Marketing Association
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