How much food a person eats has always been explained by an individual’s hunger and satiety level. Before scholars first discovered that non-physiological factors would better predict the amount of food a person will consume, physiological cues were the primary explanation as to how much a person consumed.The existing literature shows that consumers’ food consumption behaviours are influenced by a number of distinctive contextual cues. These cues can be divided into personal contextual cues,consumption contextual cues and food contextual cues. Among these contextual effects, social setting and portion size are identified as two of the most important contextual cues. Given that individuals often look for norms of appropriateness from these contextual cues in eating events and that individuals are always studied separately, the current research aims to examine the combined effect of portion size and social setting. In addition to this, the current research aims to examine social visibility and other personal contextual cues as the possible moderators of the portion size effect, the social effect and the combined effect of portion size and social setting. Therefore, one of the largest theoretical implications of the current research is the finding of the possibility of reducing the adverse effect of the portion size through social eating. Another important theoretical contribution is the finding of the prevalence of the social effect over the portion size effect and that the effect of social setting is moderated by social visibility. Collectively, these have contributed to addressing the existing knowledge gap and enabled the theoretical implications of current findings. These important findings could make a large contribution to the food industry, where food manufacturers can continue to reap the benefits of large portion size offerings while reducing the general well-being drawbacks to consumers through the identified moderators. Not only would this reduce the negative reputation that food marketing currently has, social marketers and public policy makers can also use these findings to promote a healthier lifestyle to consumers.

Year Manuscript Completed



Food Studies | Marketing


Portion size effect, social effect, social visibility; food consumption behaviour; contextual effects; Food Marketing.

Primary Language of Manuscript


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