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Not All Good Things Come in Small Packages

Not All Good Things Come in Small Packages

Those little 100-calorie snack packs seem like a healthy decision for any dieter who seeks a bit of something naughty. After all, so many of your favorite foods—cookies, potato chips and even Häagen-Dazs ice cream—have been made into decent portion sizes. What could go wrong?

While food companies have made a valiant effort to cater to people who want to lose weight, health experts are finding many people may be eating more by munching on too many of the small packages. This could thwart weight loss efforts, researchers say, in addition to leading anyone down the path of food consumption misconception.

In a study where one group of participants was given several little bags of potato chips and the other group was given two large bags, the eaters who reached for the little bags while watching television ate twice as many chips (46.1 grams versus 23.5 grams). They also used less hesitation before tearing into the small bags.

Researchers say the prime problem may be single-serve portions that come in “multipacks,” which are believed to lead to over-consumption as a result of availability.

The verdict: If you are planning on purchasing the mini snacks as a helpful food tool in your weight loss efforts, then be sure you do not trick yourself into thinking you can eat more. They still have calories!

Tell us what your favorite health snack is—we’re hungry! [The New York Times]

Posted: 6/30/08