The Sneaky Thing That can Cause You to Overeat

We might be better off buying food with plain packaging, a new study shows.

The way certain foods are depicted on the package can influence how much of it we eat, new research suggests. 

To put things in perspective, consider the fact that a typical slice of cake pictured on a box of cake-mix, for example, contains approximately 135% more calories than the recommended serving size. In other words, it's a seriously unrealistic portion. 

Researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab have found that when cake-mix boxes feature images of icing-topped slabs of cake, consumers significantly overestimate the serving size. They end up eating larger slices (and more calories) than what the nutrition label recommends.  

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

'If we see a slice of cake smothered in icing on the cake box, we think that is what is normal to serve and eat, but that's not what is reflected in the serving size recommendation on the nutrition label,' said lead author and researcher John Brand, Ph.D., in a statement. 

Brand and his team surveyed 72 undergraduates and 44 women working in food service and found that both groups overestimated portion size after looking at frosted cake on the front of the box. The women, in particular, overestimated by 122 calories per serving — proof that 'seemingly small elements of packaging can have a huge impact,' said team researcher and Cornell professor Brian Wansink. 

Most Popular

A possible solution? Printing the phrase 'icing not included on the nutritional labeling' on the box, which apparently resulted in a more accurate serving-size estimation. But we can't imagine companies doing this — as researchers have suggested — any time soon, so perhaps we should all print this disclaimer out and post in on our refrigerators.

Whatever it takes, right?

Via Good Housekeeping

What do you think?

Life
Share
The ONE Exercise You Need to do to Get That Bikini Body
According to Blake Lively's fitness trainer Don Saladino...
Life
Share
10 Divorce Lawyers Reveal the Most Insane Secrets Couples Have Hidden from One Another
"For a while, she concealed that she'd accidentally burned down their kitchen."
Life
Share
The One Easy Hack That'll Help You Lose More Weight Than Cardio
And you don't even need to move!
Life
Share
Twinkle Khanna Speaks About Workplace Sexual Harassment
Safe to say that Mrs. Funnybones did not find it funny AT ALL
Life
Share
5 Easy-Peasy Workouts You Can Do WITHOUT Getting Out of the Bed
Thank us later!
Life
Share
5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of That Spare Tyre Around Your Waist
Know more ways to beat the bloat and get a toned waist.
Life
Share
A Cosmo Girl's Guide To Doing Dubai Shopping Festival Right
#ShoppingIsMyCardio
Life
Share
This One Crazy Act Could Actually Mean You are a Genius
Time to tell the world what you always knew
Life
Share
5 More Celeb Statements on the Ugly Nepotism Spat Between Kangana Ranaut and Karan Johar
They seem to be with Karan on this.🙇
Life
Share
Yet Another Case Of Uber Driver Harassing a Delhi Girl is Going Viral...
"Madam, where do you stay and where are you from? Do you stay alone?"