Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


The purpose of this study was to determine if an instruction to take fewer bites than typically taken, would reduce intake and overcome the known environmental cue of plate size. In a previous study, fifty-five participants (34F) ate ad libitum macaroni and cheese in groups of four, either from a small plate or a large plate. They ate 111±35g with 12±4 bites from the small plate, and 195±111g with 20± 6 bites from the large plate. The current study employed the same paradigm. Sixty participants (33F) were given bite count feedback and were instructed to take only 12 bites, while eating from either a small plate or a large plate. Participants ate 135±52g with 12±3 bites from the small plate and 177±63g with 12±2 bites from the large plate. Results of a 2x2 ANOVA indicate a main effect of plate size (p<.001) and instruction (p<.001) on bites taken and an interaction (p<.001). Plate size also affected grams consumed (p<.001). Notably, instruction also affected bite size (p<.001). These results suggest that people will reduce the number of bites when instructed to, but will increase their bite size to compensate for the reduced bite allowance.