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Table 3 Opportunities for interventions aimed at portion size

From: Portion size: review and framework for interventions

Type of intervention Suggested intervention First author, year (reference)
Increase awareness among consumers
- explain that the amount eaten is important, not only what is eaten
- explain the relationship between portion size, calories and obesity
- explain the relation between product packaging, media and eating habits
e.g. Nielsen, 2003 [7]; Young, 2007 [10]; Mathiessen, 2003 [11]; Rolls, 2003 [53]; Burger, 2007 [32]; Schwartz, 2006 [28]
  Education about serving sizes and portion sizes Hogbin, 1999 [31]
  Educate people to eat satisfying portions of low energy dense foods instead of restricting all portions Ello-Martin, 2005 [54]
  Educate people on strategies regarding controlling portion size in a restaurant setting, for example
- ordering reduced-size portions
- saving part of entree for another meal
- sharing
Ledikwe, 2005 [4]
  Educate people on strategies regarding controlling portion size at home:
- repackage foods into smaller units
- plate smaller dinner portions in advance
- transfer food to a plate or bowl instead of eating from the package
- reduce the visibility of stockpiled foods
- reduce the convenience of stockpiled food (f.e. by freezing them)
- use tall, narrow glasses
- use smaller bowls and plates
- use smaller spoons when serving oneself or when eating from a bowl
Wansink, 2004 [36]
Physical environment
Decrease portion sizes served in restaurants and of packaged food in grocery stores incrementally, without knowledge of consumers Ayala, 2006 [48]; Condrasky, 2007 [33]
  Serve larger portions of healthy, low energy-dense foods Wansink, 2005 [24]
  Reduce energy density of food products/meals, keeping satisfying portion size Ledikwe, 2005 [4]; Rolls, 2003 [53]
  Provide a wider range of portion sizes Ello-Martin, 2005 [54]; Ledikwe, 2005 [4]; Osterholt, 2006 [56]; Rolls, 2003 [53]
  Use commercially packaged meals that are controlled for portion size and energy density Ello-Martin, 2005 [54]
  Food labels with useful and clear information about portion size Bryant, 2005 [29]; Rolls, 2003 [53]; Schwartz, 2006 [28]
  Point-of purchase information about portion size (restaurants) Rolls, 2003 [53]; Young, 2007 [10]
Economic environment
Attractive pricing strategies to promote smaller portions
- same value for money for small and large portions
- discount on reasonable sized portions
Ello-Martin, 2005 [54]; French, 2005 [25]; Ledikwe, 2005 [4]
  Incentives for industry to reduce portion sizes Rolls, 2003 [53]
Political environment
Portion size requirements on all foods in a la carte lines at schools Hartstein, 2008 [58]
  More consistent and realistic serving size standards that are achievable Young, 1995 [57]
Socio-cultural environment
Improve nutrition knowledge of chefs' of restaurants, about calories, portion size, energy density Condrasky, 2007 [33]