Once you pop the top of a tube of potato chips, it can be hard to stop munching its contents. But Cornell researchers may have found a novel way to help: Add edible serving size markers that act as subconscious stop signs.
As part of an experiment carried out on two groups of college students (98 students total) while they were watching video clips in class, researchers from Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab served tubes of Lays Stackables, some of which contained chips dyed red.
Unaware of why some of the chips were red, the students who were served those tubes of chips nonetheless consumed about 50 percent less than their peers: 20 and 24 chips on average for the seven-chip and 14-chip segmented tubes, respectively, compared with 45 chips in the control group; 14 and 16 chips for the five-chip and 10-chip segmented tubes, compared with 35 chips in the control group.
They were also better able to estimate how many chips they had eaten. Those in the control groups underestimated the amount of chips they had consumed by about 13 chips. Those in the “segmented” groups were able to guess within one chip.