In the Eye of the Beholder: Visual Biases in Package and Portion Size Perceptions Appetite (forthcoming)
As the sizes of food packages and portions have changed rapidly over the past decades, it has become crucial to understand how consumers perceive and respond to changes in size. Existing evidence suggests that consumers make errors when visual ly estimating package and portion size s , and these errors significantly influence subsequent food choices and intake . We outline four visual biases ( arising from the underestimation of increasing portion sizes, the dimensionality of the portion size change, labeling effects , and consumer affect) that shape consumers’ perceptions of package and portion sizes. We discuss the causes of these biases, review their impact o n food consumption decisions, and suggest concrete strategies to reduce them and to promote healthier eating. We conclude with a discussion of important theoretical and practical issues that should be addressed in the future.