Environmental factors that increase the food intake and consumption volume of unknowing consumers

Annu Rev Nutr. 2004:24:455-79. doi: 10.1146/annurev.nutr.24.012003.132140.


Package size, plate shape, lighting, socializing, and variety are only a few of the environmental factors that can influence the consumption volume of food far more than most people realize. Although such environmental factors appear unrelated, they generally influence consumption volume by inhibiting consumption monitoring and by suggesting alternative consumption norms. For researchers, this review suggests that redirecting the focus of investigations to the psychological mechanisms behind consumption will raise the profile and impact of research. For health professionals, this review underscores how small structural changes in personal environments can reduce the unknowing overconsumption of food.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Eating / physiology
  • Eating / psychology*
  • Energy Intake
  • Environment*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Food Packaging
  • Food Preferences
  • Humans
  • Social Behavior