Switching between bites of food and sips of water is related to food intake across meals varying in portion size

Paige M. Cunningham, Liane S. Roe, Kathleen L. Keller, Barbara J. Rolls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Individuals eat more when served more food, but little is known about how this portion size effect is moderated by meal-related characteristics, particularly the inclusion of water served as a beverage. Patterns of eating and drinking as well as consumption of water could affect satiation by modifying exposure to the sensory qualities of food. In a crossover design, 44 adults ate lunch in the laboratory once a week for 4 weeks and intake was measured. The meal was a pasta dish that was varied in portion size (400, 500, 600, or 700 g) plus 700 g of water. Meals were video-recorded to count bites and sips and the number of switches between them. Sensory-specific satiety (SSS) was evaluated as the relative decline in hedonic ratings of the pasta after consumption. Serving larger portions led to a curvilinear increase in food intake (p < 0.0001). Neither switching between bites and sips nor water intake moderated the portion size effect. Independent of portion served, across all meals switching more frequently was related to greater food consumption (5.7 ± 1.8 g more food consumed for each additional switch, p = 0.004). Greater water intake was also related to greater food intake across portions (1.1 ± 0.5 g more food consumed for each additional 10 g of water, p = 0.025), but this effect was not significant after accounting for switching (p = 0.38). The magnitude of SSS was unaffected by switching, suggesting that switching allowed greater food intake for a given hedonic decline. At a meal with a single food, intake was greater when larger portions were served and also when there was more switching between bites and sips. Switching between food and water may promote energy intake by attenuating the development of SSS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106443
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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