Forks over spoons: The impact of cutlery on calorie estimates

Courtney Szocs, Dipayan Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Forks and spoons are present at nearly every meal in Western societies, and many foods can be appropriately consumed with either type of cutlery. We focus on foods that can be appropriately consumed with either a fork or a spoon and examine how eating with one piece of cutlery (vs. the other) influences consumers’ calorie estimates and consumption decisions. Holding bite size constant, we find that eating with a spoon (vs. a fork) leads consumers to estimate the number of calories in the food as being lower and also desire a greater volume of the food. The effect of cutlery on calories is attenuated when consumers focus on the oral sensations they experience while eating, as well as when foods do not adhere to the cutlery surface. Overall, our findings suggest that eating with a fork might be one way to encourage healthful consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-174
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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