Factors predicting the portion size and perceived fillingness of evening meals in Danish and Iris households

Moira Dean, Michelle Spence, Violeta Stefan, Liisa Lahteenmaki

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Purpose:
This study explored how meal-related variables, socio-demographics and psychological predispositions affect the portion
size and perceived fillingness of an evening meal in Danish and Irish households.
Methods:
Using survey data collected in 2115 respondents from Denmark (DK) and the Island of Ireland (IOI), we compared four
sets of predictors of the portion size chosen for four evening meals (i.e. pizza/soup/chicken salad/pork meal): Biological
variables (hunger, thirst), socio-demographic variables (gender, age, BMI); psychological predispositions (cognitive
restraint, uncontrolled eating, emotional eating, general health interest) and meal-related variables (expected fillingness,
perceived healthiness, liking, frequency of consumption). We also compared five sets of predictors (the previous
four plus portion size) of perceived portion fillingness.
Results:
Portion size selections were associated mainly with demographic variables (gender, BMI) and psychological predispositions
(cognitive restraint, uncontrolled eating). In addition, only liking and sometimes expected healthiness (mealrelated
variables) appeared as drivers. Conversely, perceived portion fillingness was mostly influenced by the selected
portion size as well as expected fillingness and liking. There were some differences between meals; e.g. GHI not a
predictor for Pizza but a predictor for Chicken salad. Also some country differences were observed; emotional eating
predicted portion selection in the IOI but not DK.
Conclusions:
When making portion size selections at home, psychological predispositions, restrained and uncontrolled eating as well
as meal-related variables, liking and healthiness explained the decisions. However, surprisingly, individuals’ expected
fillingness of a food did not influence their portion size selection but was a driver of fillingness of the selected portion.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2014
EventInternational Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting 2014 - California, San Diego, United States
Duration: 21 May 201424 May 2014

Conference

ConferenceInternational Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting 2014
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period21/05/201424/05/2014

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