Maura L. Scott, Stephen M. Nowlis, Naomi Mandel, Andrea C. Morales; The Effects of Reduced Food Size and Package Size on the Consumption Behavior of Restrained and Unrestrained Eaters. J Consum Res 2008; 35 (3): 391-405. doi: 10.1086/591103
This research examines the moderating role of attempted dietary restraint on the amount of food consumed from small food in small packages versus large food in large packages. Four experiments demonstrate that restrained eaters consume more calories from small food in small packages, while unrestrained eaters consume more calories from large food in a large package. For restrained eaters, overconsumption of the small food in small packages results from a lapse in self-control caused by the stress of perceiving conflicting food information: the small food in small packages is perceived as both diet food and high in calories.