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Review

Impact of Portion Control Tools on Portion Size Awareness, Choice and Intake: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1
Center for Nutrition Research, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
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Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
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Navarra Institute for Health Research (IdiSNa), 31008 Pamplona, Spain
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CIBERobn, Obesity and Nutrition, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
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Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, University of Rome La Sapienza, 00185 Rome, Italy
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Department of Medical Statistics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tilman Kühn
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1978; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061978
Received: 30 March 2021 / Revised: 12 May 2021 / Accepted: 15 May 2021 / Published: 9 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Portion Size Effect and Strategies for Portion Control)
Portion control utensils and reduced size tableware amongst other tools, have the potential to guide portion size intake but their effectiveness remains controversial. This review evaluated the breadth and effectiveness of existing portion control tools on learning/awareness of appropriate portion sizes (PS), PS choice, and PS consumption. Additional outcomes were energy intake and weight loss. Published records between 2006–2020 (n = 1241) were identified from PubMed and WoS, and 36 publications comparing the impact of portion control tools on awareness (n = 7 studies), selection/choice (n = 14), intake plus related measures (n = 21) and weight status (n = 9) were analyzed. Non-tableware tools included cooking utensils, educational aids and computerized applications. Tableware included mostly reduced-size and portion control/calibrated crockery/cutlery. Overall, 55% of studies reported a significant impact of using a tool (typically smaller bowl, fork or glass; or calibrated plate). A meta-analysis of 28 articles confirmed an overall effect of tool on food intake (d = –0.22; 95%CI: –0.38, –0.06; 21 comparisons), mostly driven by combinations of reduced-size bowls and spoons decreasing serving sizes (d = –0.48; 95%CI: –0.72, –0.24; 8 comparisons) and consumed amounts/energy (d = –0.22; 95%CI: –0.39, –0.05, 9 comparisons), but not by reduced-size plates (d = –0.03; 95%CI: –0.12, 0.06, 7 comparisons). Portion control tools marginally induced weight loss (d = –0.20; 95%CI: –0.37, –0.03; 9 comparisons), especially driven by calibrated tableware. No impact was detected on PS awareness; however, few studies quantified this outcome. Specific portion control tools may be helpful as potentially effective instruments for inclusion as part of weight loss interventions. Reduced size plates per se may not be as effective as previously suggested. View Full-Text
Keywords: portion size; portion control tool; portion size awareness; tableware; weight loss portion size; portion control tool; portion size awareness; tableware; weight loss
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vargas-Alvarez, M.A.; Navas-Carretero, S.; Palla, L.; Martínez, J.A.; Almiron-Roig, E. Impact of Portion Control Tools on Portion Size Awareness, Choice and Intake: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1978. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061978

AMA Style

Vargas-Alvarez MA, Navas-Carretero S, Palla L, Martínez JA, Almiron-Roig E. Impact of Portion Control Tools on Portion Size Awareness, Choice and Intake: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2021; 13(6):1978. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061978

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vargas-Alvarez, M. Angeles, Santiago Navas-Carretero, Luigi Palla, J. Alfredo Martínez, and Eva Almiron-Roig. 2021. "Impact of Portion Control Tools on Portion Size Awareness, Choice and Intake: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" Nutrients 13, no. 6: 1978. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061978

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