Eating in larger groups increases food consumption

Lumeng, Julie C.; Hillman, Katherine H.
May 2007
Archives of Disease in Childhood;May2007, Vol. 92 Issue 5, p384
Academic Journal
Objective: To determine whether children's food consumption is increased by the size of the group of children in which they are eating. Design: Crossover study. Setting: University based preschool. Participants: 54 children, aged 2.5-6.5 years. Interventions: Each child ate a standardised snack in a group of three children, and in a group of nine children. Main outcome measures: Amount each individual child consumed, in grams. Results: Amount eaten and snack duration were correlated (r=0.71). The association between group size and amount eaten differed in the short (<11.4 min) versus the long (⩾11.4 min) snacks (p =0.02 for the interaction between group size and snack duration). During short snacks, there was no effect of group size on amount eaten (16.7 (SD 11) g eaten in small groups vs 15.1(6.6) g eaten in large groups, p = 0.42). During long snacks, large group size increased the amount eaten (34.5 (16) vs 26.5 (13.8), p = 0.02). The group size effect was partially explained by a shorter latency to begin eating, a faster eating rate and reduced social interaction in larger groups. Conclusions: Children consumed 30% more food when eating in a group of nine children than when eating in a group of three children during longer snacks. Social facilitation of food consumption operates in preschool- aged children. The group size effect merits consideration in creating eating behaviour interventions.


Related Articles

  • Snack Consumption and Waste by Preschool Children Served 'Cute' versus Regular Snacks. Branen, Laurel; Fletcher, Janice; Hilbert, Leslie // Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior;Sep/Oct2002, Vol. 34 Issue 5, p279 

    Objective: To determine if preschool children would eat and waste different amounts of food when served snacks in a regular versus a "cute" form. Design: Preschool children were served 6 snacks in a cute form and the same snacks in a regular form using the same food components during 24 snack...

  • Junk food consumption: an indicator of changing dietary habit in Iranian children. Kolahdooz, F.; Sheikholeslam, R.; Naghavi, M.; Abdollahi, Z. // Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition;2004 Supplement, Vol. 13, pS121 

    Introduction: Widespread consumption of junk foods deprives children of necessary nutrients during the critical first three years of life. Urbanization and media propaganda have caused traditional nutritious snacks to be replaced by low-quality junk foods. Materials & Methods: To assess the...

  • Effects of household food expenditure on nutritional status of preschoolers in cassava producing areas of Nigeria. Asinobi, C. O.; Nweke, F. I.; Cole, A. H. // Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition;2004 Supplement, Vol. 13, pS113 

    In an attempt to verify the myth associated with cassava as an inferior commodity, anthropometric measurements of 437 preschoolers aged 0-5years were taken in 378 randomly selected farm households in 3 villages of cassava producing households. Standard unit values (Z-scores) from median National...

  • Public Displays of Affection. Namie, Joylin // Food, Culture & Society;Sep2011, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p393 

    Increased consumption of nutrient-poor, high-calorie snack foods is a major contributor to childhood obesity. As mothers play a crucial role in children's food intake, investigating factors that affect their child-feeding decisions is vital in framing a response to the problem. Semi-structured...

  • Relationship Between the Level of Knowledge and Street Food Consumption Patterns with Nutritional Status of Children. Kusmandayu, Towi; Muniroh, Lailatul // International Proceedings of Chemical, Biological & Environmenta;2012, Vol. 39, p30 

    This study aimed to analyze the relationship between knowledge level and street food consumption patterns with nutritional status of children. This study is an observational analytic with cross sectional design. The population was the students in grade IV and V Elementary School of Keputran I...

  • CONDIÇÕES SOCIOECONÔMICAS, CONSUMO ALIMENTAR E ESTADO NUTRICIONAL DE PRÉ- ESCOLARES PERTENCENTES A UMA CRECHE. Valente, Tessa Bitencourt; Hecktheuer, Luisa Helena Rychecki; Brasil, Carla Cristina Bauermann // Brazilian Journal of Food & Nutrition / Alimentos e Nutrição;Sep2010, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p421 

    The aim of this study was to analyze the socioeconomic conditions, the food intake and nutritional status of 39 preschool children belonging to a day care center in Santa Maria/RS. A questionnaire was applied to analysis of socioeconomic profile of families and a food frequency questionnaire,...

  • La edad de la madre como condicionante del consumo de alimentos y la ingesta de energía y nutrientes de sus hijos en edad preescolar. Navia, B.; Ortega, R. M.; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, E.; Aparicio, A.; Perea, J. M. // Nutricion Hospitalaria;jul/ago2009, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p452 

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze whether the mother's age at the offspring's birth may condition food consumption and energy and nutrients intake as well as the appropriateness of the diet of their offspring at pre-school age. Materials and methods: socio-economic,...

  • Growth and Development in Chinese Pre-Schoolers with Picky Eating Behaviour: A Cross-Sectional Study. Xue, Yong; Zhao, Ai; Cai, Li; Yang, Baoru; Szeto, Ignatius M. Y.; Ma, Defu; Zhang, Yumei; Wang, Peiyu // PLoS ONE;Apr2015, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p1 

    Objective: To explore the associations between picky eating behaviour and pre-schoolers’ growth and development. Corresponding potential mechanisms, such as nutrient and food subgroup intake, as well as micronutrients in the blood, will be considered. Methods: Picky eating behaviour was...

  • The social facilitation of food intake. Drewelt, R. F. // Archives of Disease in Childhood;May2007, Vol. 92 Issue 5, p377 

    The article comments on the paper, "Eating in larger group increases food consumption," by J.C. Lumeng and K.H. Hillman. According to the author, he does not wish to encourage solitary eating, which is a risk factor for the later development of eating disorders. The author believes there may be...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics