A USC Marshall study led by Dr. Linda Hagen shows that, in order to ease the process of staying fit, it’s best to serve yourself instead of having others serve for you. In Hagen’s research, which will be published in the Journal of Marketing Research later this year, the team found that when participants served their own unhealthy foods, they were more likely to either skip them altogether or take skimpy portions compared to when they grabbed pre-filled cups, pre-sliced cake, or pre-set sizes of frozen yogurt.
“Our research shows that for unhealthy—but not for healthy—food, consumers are more likely to indulge and have larger portions when they are less involved in serving the food, like when another person serves it for them or when it’s already pre-plated,” says study co-author Linda Hagen, assistant professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. “They’re less likely to indulge and will choose smaller portions when they have to serve themselves.”
Read the full article: Want to Eat Less Junk Food? This Science-Backed Trick Works Every Time (Reader’s Digest)