The Loh Down On Science

What happens when you eat large amounts of the same food?

Can you really eat too many truffles?

Why is the first bite of cake always better than the last?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

It has to do with a phenomenon called “sensory-specific satiety.”  With each bite, we become more sated.  So we enjoy each bite less than the one before.  Boo-hoo!

Carey Morewedge from Carnegie Mellon University says that's not all.  His study found that not only does enjoyment decline with repeat exposure, how often people choose to consume their favorites likewise falls.

Morewedge gave volunteers chocolate truffles to eat right away, plus a coupon for another bag of them.  The free bag could be picked up any time during the following two weeks.   

All participants eventually picked up their freebie, but not in the same timely fashion.  Participants who ate the most truffles originally, took an average of four days longer to claim their bonus bag. 

Morewedge says people may claim they prefer larger sizes, but his findings show otherwise.  Eating larger portions of a product actually decreases how often it is bought. 

Maybe it's time to say “Un-supersize me”?  Just a thought.  Now pass the truffles.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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