The Influence of Portion Size and Timing of Meals on Weight Balance and Obesity

Curr Obes Rep. 2015 Mar;4(1):11-8. doi: 10.1007/s13679-015-0138-y.


This review focuses on the influence of portion size and temporal distribution of food intake on weight balance and obesity in adults. The inconsistency of definitions in the area of meal patterns is also discussed. The conclusion is that regular eating habits might facilitate weight balance, while unplanned snacking as well as consuming the major part of the energy intake at the end of the day seem to be unfavourable. Altogether, the research suggests that large portions promote over-consumption and, therefore, limiting portion size of energy dense foods and drinks with added sugar could be recommended. Even if more research is needed, these factors should be taken into consideration in recommendations for obesity prevention.

Keywords: Appetite regulation; Body weight; Breakfast; Dinner; Eating; Eating patterns; Lunch; Meal patterns; Meals; Obesity; Portion size; Satiety response; Snacking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Portion Size*
  • Snacks