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Obesity

Fight Obesity - Researchers Say Eating Food Cut into Small Pieces Makes You Feel Full Faster

posted 12:08 AM EST, Thu July 12, 2012
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Researchers say one way we judge food quantity is by evaluating how many pieces of food we have to eat on our plate, so if you’re trying to lose weight, you can trick your mind into accelerated satiety by cutting food into tiny pieces.

Humans may be the most intelligent of animals, but in a lot of ways, we’re not so smart; and when it comes to weight control, that’s maybe a good thing…

According to new research out of Arizona State University, eating food cut into tiny pieces fools both lab rats and humans into feeling full more quickly.

The Experiment

Previous research had demonstrated that when given a choice, rats preferred to eat food that had been cut into smaller pieces rather than a same quantity of food served in a single larger piece. Rats like to eat a lot of food and they equate large numbers of food pieces with a larger quantity of total food.

Would the same hold true for humans?

To find out, researchers gave 301 study subjects either:

  1. A whole bagel to eat
  2. That same bagel cut into 4 pieces to eat

Twenty minutes later, subjects were given access to a lunch buffet and invited to eat as much as they wanted to. After they had finished eating, researchers calculated each subject’s total consumption by cataloging the food that had been left.

The Results

On average, subjects who ate the bagel cut into pieces ate fewer total calories at the test meal than subjects who ate the uncut bagel.

Commentary

Lead study author Devina Wadhera explained the results by saying that eating food cut up into smaller pieces is more satisfying than larger portions of food and suggested that, "Cutting up energy-dense meal foods into smaller pieces may be beneficial to dieters who wish to make their meal more satiating while also maintaining portion control."

The full study results were presented at The 2012 Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Story Highlights
  • Satiety: Eating a lot of very small pieces of food gets you feeling full faster than eating one larger piece of food
  • Obesity: Researchers say people trying to lose weight should try cutting their food up into small peices
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