Reduced-portion entrées in a worksite and restaurant setting: Impact on food consumption and waste

Sarah Berkowitz, Len Marquart, Elton Mykerezi, Dennis Degeneffe, Marla Reicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective Large portion sizes in restaurants have been identified as a public health risk. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether customers in two different food-service operator segments (non-commercial worksite cafeteria and commercial upscale restaurant) would select reduced-portion menu items and the impact of selecting reduced-portion menu items on energy and nutrient intakes and plate waste. Design Consumption and plate waste data were collected for 5 weeks before and 7 weeks after introduction of five reduced-size entrées in a worksite lunch cafeteria and for 3 weeks before and 4 weeks after introduction of five reduced-size dinner entrées in a restaurant setting. Full-size entrées were available throughout the entire study periods. Setting A worksite cafeteria and a commercial upscale restaurant in a large US Midwestern metropolitan area. Subjects Adult worksite employees and restaurant patrons. Results Reduced-size entrées accounted for 5·3-12·8 % and 18·8-31·3 % of total entrées selected in the worksite and restaurant settings, respectively. Food waste, energy intake and intakes of total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, Na, fibre, Ca, K and Fe were significantly lower when both full- and reduced-size entrées were served in the worksite setting and in the restaurant setting compared with when only full-size entrées were served. Conclusions A relatively small proportion of reduced-size entrées were selected but still resulted in reductions in overall energy and nutrient intakes. These outcomes could serve as the foundation for future studies to determine strategies to enhance acceptance of reduced-portion menu items in restaurant settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3048-3054
Number of pages7
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support: This work was supported by the University of Minnesota Food Policy Research Center funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The University of Minnesota Food Policy Research Center had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Authors 2016 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (.


  • Adults
  • Food service
  • Reduced-size entrées
  • Restaurant
  • Worksite cafeteria


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