Eating less from bigger packs: Preventing the pack size effect with diet primes

Versluis, I. and Papies, E. K. (2016) Eating less from bigger packs: Preventing the pack size effect with diet primes. Appetite, 100, pp. 70-79. (doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.02.011) (PMID:26876911)

116721.pdf - Accepted Version



An increase in the package size of food has been shown to lead to an increase in 28 energy intake from this food, the so-called pack size effect. Previous research has shown that 29 providing diet-concerned individuals with a reminder, or prime, of their dieting goal can help 30 them control their consumption. Here, we investigated if providing such a prime is also 31 effective for reducing the magnitude of the pack size effect. We conducted two experiments in 32 which the cover of a dieting magazine (Experiment 1) and diet-related commercials 33 (Experiment 2) served as diet goal primes. Both experiments had a 2 (pack size: small vs. 34 large) x 2 (prime: diet vs. control) x 2 (dietary restraint: high vs. low) between participants 35 design. We measured expected consumption of four snack foods in Experiment 1 (N = 477), 36 and actual consumption of M&M’s in Experiment 2 (N = 224). Results showed that the diet 37 prime reduced the pack size effect for both restrained and unrestrained eaters in Experiment 1 38 and for restrained eaters only in Experiment 2. Although effect sizes were small, these 39 findings suggest that a diet prime motivates restrained eaters to limit their consumption, and 40 as a result the pack size has less influence on the amount consumed. We discuss limitations of 41 this research as well as potential avenues for further research and theoretical and practical 42 implications.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Papies, Dr Esther
Authors: Versluis, I., and Papies, E. K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Appetite
ISSN (Online):1095-8304
Published Online:10 February 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Appetite 100:70-79
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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