Research presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) suggests that both animals and humans find multiple pieces of food to be more satiating and rewarding than an equicaloric, single-piece portion of food.
Increases in portion size lead to increased intake. We investigated here the impact of number and size of food. Both humans and animals use number as a cue to judge quantities of food, with larger numbers usually associated with larger quantities. Therefore, a food portion cut into multiple, bite-sized pieces may perceptually look more and therefore elicit greater satiation than the same portion presented as a single, large piece. E.J. Capaldi and colleagues (1989) showed that when rats were trained to associate one arm of a T-maze with a single 300 mg pellet and another with 4 (75 mg) pellets, they preferred the arm associated with the four pellets. We investigated if a portion of food in single or multiple, bite-sized pieces (both equal-calorie portions) would affect food selection and consumption in rats and humans.