Don’t go large! New evidence on portion size

Page last reviewed: 16 August 2022.

New Cochrane evidence shows we all consume too and non-alcoholic drink when offered bigger portions, bigger packing or bigger tableware rather than smaller sizes, regardless of other factors such as gender, BMI or self-control. Environmental factors are very important. This may seem obvious but until now we haven’t had evidence to show it and there has been a tendency to portray personal factors as the main reason people overeat. Offering smaller sizes across the whole diet has the potential to reduce the average daily energy intake by 12-16% in the UK (22-29% in the US) but large reductions in portion size would be needed to achieve this. It’s unclear whether reducing portions at the smaller end of the size range as be as effective as at the large end. Moderate-quality evidence.


Below, you can watch a video which explains this review (and explains what systematic reviews are):

The review is open access and you can find it here: Hollands GJ, Shemilt I, Marteau TM, Jebb SA, Lewis HB, Wei Y, Higgins JPT, Ogilvie D. Portion, package or tableware size for changing selection and consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD011045. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011045.pub2.

Don’t go large! New evidence on portion size by Sarah Chapman

is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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