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New evidence suggests that people are more likely to eat less if they spread small pieces of food across their plate.

A study by scientists at China's Shaanxi Normal University found that the technique helped people lose weight because it made people think they were eating more food, subconsciously making them feel fuller faster.

According to researchers, portion size is the biggest factor affecting how much food a person eats.

During the experiment, 34 participants were shown 60 different pictures of chocolate, all showing the candy in different ways.

The results showed that most of the study cohort believed that the chocolate had more when it was divided into multiple pieces.

The authors said: “Larger unit sizes increased perception of overall portion size. These findings may inform recommendations for reducing the risk of overeating.

“The results provide practical guidance for reducing consumption to reduce the risk of people eating large portions unintentionally.”

Scholars say that when food is cut into smaller pieces, there is a subconscious perception that there will be more of it, a phenomenon known as contour integration — a phenomenon that prompts people to see the gaps around the meal as part of the meal.

Previous research by an Oxford professor has shown that the “red plate” technique can also help people lose weight.

Dr. Charles Spence believes that eating red plates can be a good way to lose weight by tricking the brain into reducing food intake.

The NHS spends £6.1 billion a year on obesity-related diseases, a figure set to rise to nearly £10 billion a year by 2050.

The study was published in the journal Food Quality and Preference





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