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      Combined effects of energy density and portion size on energy intake in women

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      The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Increases in both the portion size and energy density of food have both been shown to increase energy intake, but the combined effects of such increases have not been investigated. The objective was to determine the combined effects of energy density and portion size on energy intake in women. This study used a within-subjects design. Once a week for 6 wk, 39 women were served breakfast, lunch, and dinner ad libitum. The main entrée at lunch was formulated in 2 versions that varied in energy density (5.23 or 7.32 kJ/g), each of which was served in 3 different portion sizes (500, 700, or 900 g). The 2 versions were matched for macronutrient composition and palatability. Breakfast and dinner were standard meals. Increases in portion size and energy density led to independent and additive increases in energy intake (P <0.0001). Subjects consumed 56% more energy (925 kJ) when served the largest portion of the higher energy-dense entrée than when served the smallest portion of the lower energy-dense entrée. Subjects did not compensate for the additional intake by eating less at the subsequent meal. Despite substantial differences in energy intake, no systematic differences in ratings of hunger and fullness across conditions were observed. The energy density and the portion size of a food act independently to affect energy intake. The findings indicate that large portions of foods with a high energy density may facilitate the overconsumption of energy.

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          Most cited references 17

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          The contribution of expanding portion sizes to the US obesity epidemic.

          Because larger food portions could be contributing to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity, this study was designed to weigh samples of marketplace foods, identify historical changes in the sizes of those foods, and compare current portions with federal standards. We obtained information about current portions from manufacturers or from direct weighing; we obtained information about past portions from manufacturers or contemporary publications. Marketplace food portions have increased in size and now exceed federal standards. Portion sizes began to grow in the 1970s, rose sharply in the 1980s, and have continued in parallel with increasing body weights. Because energy content increases with portion size, educational and other public health efforts to address obesity should focus on the need for people to consume smaller portions.
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            The Eating Attitudes Test: an index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa

            Data on the development of a 40-item measure of the symptoms in anorexia nervosa are reported. The scale (EAT) is presented in a 6-point, forced choice, self-report format which is easily administered and scored. The EAT was validated using 2 groups of female anorexia nervosa patients ( N = 32 and 33) and female control subjects ( N = 34 and 59). Total EAT score was significantly correlated with criterion group membership( r = 0·87, P < 0·001), suggesting a high level of concurrent validity. There was very little overlap in the frequency distributions of the 2 groups and only 7% of the normal controls scored as high as the lowest anorexic patient. Female obese and male subjects also scored significantly lower on the EAT than anorexics. Recovered anorexic patients scored in the normal range on the test, suggesting that the EAT is sensitive to clinical remission.
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              Portion size of food affects energy intake in normal-weight and overweight men and women.

              Large portions of food may contribute to excess energy intake and greater obesity. However, data on the effects of portion size on food intake in adults are limited. We examined the effect of portion size on intake during a single meal. We also investigated whether the response to portion size depended on which person, the subject or the experimenter, determined the amount of food on the plate. Fifty-one men and women were served lunch 1 d/wk for 4 wk. Lunch included an entrée of macaroni and cheese consumed ad libitum. At each meal, subjects were presented with 1 of 4 portions of the entrée: 500, 625, 750, or 1000 g. One group of subjects received the portion on a plate, and a second group received it in a serving dish and took the amount they desired on their plates. Portion size significantly influenced energy intake at lunch (P < 0.0001). Subjects consumed 30% more energy (676 kJ) when offered the largest portion than when offered the smallest portion. The response to the variations in portion size was not influenced by who determined the amount of food on the plate or by subject characteristics such as sex, body mass index, or scores for dietary restraint or disinhibition. Larger portions led to greater energy intake regardless of serving method and subject characteristics. Portion size is a modifiable determinant of energy intake that should be addressed in connection with the prevention and treatment of obesity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0002-9165
                1938-3207
                June 2004
                June 01 2004
                June 2004
                June 01 2004
                : 79
                : 6
                : 962-968
                Article
                10.1093/ajcn/79.6.962
                15159224
                © 2004

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