‘Super Bowls’ lead to super appetites

Attention Party Animals! If you want to have fun this Super Bowl without feeling guilty about all the super-snacking, use smaller serving bowls. We use the size of the bowls on a table as a rule-of-thumb as to how much we should take.

Researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab invited forty graduate students to a Super Bowl party and served them roasted nuts and Chex Mix from one of two buffet tables. One table had two big bowls of the snacks. The other had the same amount and type of snacks split into four small bowls.

The amount of food eaten by each person was carefully recorded by the research team. They found that people who served themselves from the large bowls ate 56% more than those who used the smaller serving bowls. As a consequence, eating from the bigger bowls meant eating an extra 142 calories!

“The size of serving bowls provide a subtle cue of how much we should eat,” says Brian Wansink, lead researcher and Professor of Marketing at Cornell University. “A handful of Chex Mix from a large bowl doesn’t seem like enough, but one from a medium bowl seems just about right.”

So, use smaller serving bowls for party foods as part of your Super Bowl game plan! On the other hand, for healthy foods like carrots or bell pepper strips for dipping, use the big bowls to encourage your friends and family members to eat more.

From Cornell University


Substack subscription form sign up
The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.