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Size Counts? Study Finds Portion Designation on Product Labels Impacts Consumer Consumption

Product Labels with a Size Indicator Makes a Difference

According to a recent study, product labels that provide consumers with portion sizes impact how much people eat and drink. Scientists from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found a link between how much an individual consumes and if the product is labeled as a particular size.

The researchers served 45 study participants spaghetti with some of the small containers labeled as "half size" and the large portions as "regular," and vice versa. The researchers found a discrepancy in how restaurants and food makers size their products. The varying concept of what is a "double-sized" portion verses a "regular" one, and whether it is designated on the packaging, influences how much a consumer will eat or drink.

Custom Beverage Labels Help Consumers Make Healthy Decisions
The distortion in portion size on custom beverage labels can cause a person to consume a 16-ounce can of soda in one sitting if it is designated as "regular," even if a portion is 8 ounces.

In its own mini-study, New York news station WIVB asked Buffalo resident Colin Overdorf if he could tell a portion was too much for him to eat. Even without a label, Overdorf was able to measure if the food would be too much to consume in one sitting.