Half a slab of chocolate as satisfying as full bar: study

Chololate

Half a bar of chocolate is as satisfying as a full one, according to new research which found that smaller portions of snack foods leave people as content as large helpings.

Using chocolate chips, apple pie, and potato chips, researchers Ellen van Kleef, Mitsuru Shimizu, and Brian Wansink from Cornell University designed a study to determine if people who were given smaller portions of snack foods would feel hungrier or satisfied fifteen minutes after eating.

Two groups with different portion sizes were tested. The larger portion size group was given 100g of chocolate, 200g of apple pie, and 80g of potato chips, all slightly larger than the recommended portion sizes.

This equalled 1370 calories in snack foods. The other group was given 10g, 40g, and 10g of these same foods respectively, for a total of 195 calories.

The two groups were given as much time to eat as needed, and were asked to fill out surveys to rate the liking, familiarity, and boredom with the food. They were also asked to rate their hunger and craving before the food was presented and fifteen minutes after the taste tests ended.

The results remarkably showed that smaller portion sizes are capable of providing similar feelings of satisfaction as larger ones, researchers said in a statement.

Those given larger portions consumed 77 per cent more food, amounting to 103 calories more, but they did not feel any appetite enhancing or stronger feelings of satiety than the group with the smaller portions.

Overall these findings reflect the importance of portion size. While larger portions result in increased food intake, smaller portions may make you feel equally satisfied.

The smaller portions can lead to a decline in hunger and desire that would help people limit their food intake, the study found.

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