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A review of evidence supporting current strategies, challenges, and opportunities to reduce portion sizes.

  • Almiron-Roig, Eva
  • Forde, Ciaran G
  • Hollands, Gareth
  • Vargas, M Ángeles
  • Brunstrom, Jeffrey M
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2020
Apollo - University of Cambridge Repository
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Although there is considerable evidence for the portion-size effect and its potential impact on health, much of this has not been successfully applied to help consumers reduce portion sizes. The objective of this review is to provide an update on the strength of evidence supporting strategies with potential to reduce portion sizes across individuals and eating contexts. Three levels of action are considered: food-level strategies (targeting commercial snack and meal portion sizes, packaging, food labels, tableware, and food sensory properties), individual-level strategies (targeting eating rate and bite size, portion norms, plate-cleaning tendencies, and cognitive processes), and population approaches (targeting the physical, social, and economic environment and health policy). Food- and individual-level strategies are associated with small to moderate effects; however, in isolation, none seem to have sufficient impact on food intake to reverse the portion-size effect and its consequences. Wider changes to the portion-size environment will be necessary to support individual- and food-level strategies leading to portion control. / EAR and MAV are supported by the Centre for Nutrition Research, University of Navarra and by the Government of Navarra (project grant n. PT028 “PORTIONS”). JMB is supported by the EU Seventh Framework Programme, Nudge-it [grant number 607310]. EAR also acknowledges support from the Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn), Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid, Spain. Declaration of interests: EAR has received a donation of portion control tools for research from Precise Portions NLS in the past.

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