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Whether smaller plates reduce consumption depends on who’s serving and who’s looking: a meta-analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2016, 00:00 authored by S Holden, N Zlatevska, Chris DubelaarChris Dubelaar
The literature on whether varying plate size has an effect on consumption is mixed and contradictory.
This meta-analysis of 56 studies from 20 papers shows that varying the size of the container holding food (e.g., plate or
bowl) has a substantial effect on amount self-served and/or consumed (Cohen’s d 5 .43). More generally, we found a
doubling of plate size increased the amount self-served or amount consumed by 41%. Our analysis resolves the various
contradictions of past reviews: we found that the plate-size effect had a substantial effect on amount self-served (d 5
.51) and on amount consumed when the portion was self-served (d 5 .70) or manipulated along with (confounded
with) plate size (d 5 48). However, plate size had no effect on amount consumed when the portion size was held constant
(d 5 .03). Overall, plate size had a stronger effect when participants were unaware that they were participating
in a food study (d 5 .76).

History

Journal

Journal of the association of consumer research

Volume

1

Issue

1

Pagination

134 - 146

Publisher

University of Chicago Press

Location

Chicago, Ill.

ISSN

2378-1815

eISSN

2378-1823

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Association for Consumer Research