What Influences The Size of Meals?

Meal Setting

What Influences The Size of Meals?

There are a large number of factors that can influence a single size of meals for humans. We’ll just do a brief run-down. The info-graphic mentions all of the influences that can affect our meal sizes.

Size of Meals Info Graphic
Meal Size Factors

The Top Three Influences

Time of day appears to influence the size of meals in that the amount eaten and the external influences increases from breakfast, to lunch, to your evening meal. Meal size and external influences seem to be greater on weekends than on week days.

Meal size also varies as a power function of the number of people present eating a meal together. This effect is termed, “social facilitation” of feeding. Social facilitation and daily routine account for much of this effect.

Seasonality can also influence the size of meals. A number of studies suggest that external influences, meal size, and eating rate are all elevated in the fall months. In one particular study hunger was associated with meal size in winter and spring, but not so clearly in the autumn.

Understand what may influence the size of your meals, may be able to help you understand what contributes to over-indulgence and consequently, may help you determine ways to curb that indulgence!

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

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