Visual cues tell us when we are full

March 30, 2005 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Visual cues tell us when we are full
A recent study from the University of Illinois has found that people will eat 73% more than usual if they cannot see how much they have eaten.

Researchers served a free soup lunch to 54 people, half of which ate from �bottomless bowls� � 18-ounce bowls that were slowly refilled by tubing underneath the table. The other half of the participants ate from normal 18-ounce bowls.

After a 20-minute lunch, people eating from the self-refilling bowls had eaten 73% more soup and 113 more calories than those eating from the normal bowls. Even though they ate more, these participants believed they had eaten the same amount of calories, and rated themselves as being no more full than the other group.

Researchers explain that people eat with their eyes and rely on visual cues � like an empty bowl or plate to tell them when they have had enough. Not surprisingly 61% of Americans say they eat until their plate is empty.

While these visual cues can be dangerous to people on a diet, they can also be useful. For instance, using smaller plates, bowls and glasses may lead a person to believe they have had a full portion. While re-packaging bulk snacks into smaller re-sealable sandwich bags may lead a person to think that a half-serving was a satisfying full serving.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.