It has been suggested that we are often unaware of external factors that influence eating behavior (Wansink, 2006; Vartaninan et al., 2008). There is a substantial body of research that shows external factors have a robust influence on eating behavior (Epstein et al., 2009; Remick et al., 2009; Rozin et al., 2003).
These external factors include things such as portion size, labeling, variety of food we eat, and how much attention we pay when we’re eating (or whether we’re distracted by socializing, for instance). Even the plate size can affect how we eat.
Now, some researchers have suggested that external factors may play a larger role in eating behavior than internal factors, such as hunger, satiety, flavor, macro-nutrient content, and so on (Wansink et al., 2007; Levitsky, 2005; Wansink, et al., 2005).
What’s behind these external or environmental factors and their role in how we eat?
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