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


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.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Christina Berg and Heléne Bertéus Forslund declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Christina Berg.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Etiology of Obesity

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Berg, C., Forslund, H.B. The Influence of Portion Size and Timing of Meals on Weight Balance and Obesity. Curr Obes Rep 4, 11–18 (2015).

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  • Eating
  • Eating patterns
  • Meal patterns
  • Portion size
  • Meals
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacking
  • Obesity
  • Body weight
  • Appetite regulation
  • Satiety response