Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.20(5) > 1038517

Hong, Kim, Kwon, Chang, Kim, and Chang: Influence of the Size of the Spoon on the Eating rate, Energy Intake and the Satiety Levels of Female College Students



This study examined the influence of different sizes of spoons (normal spoon, 8.3 cc vs small spoon, 4 cc) on eating rate, energy intake and the satiety levels of female college students.


Twenty four healthy female college students participated in this study once a week for 2 weeks. Two hundred ten grams of cooked rice and 250 g of beef shank soup with a normal spoon and same amount of rice and soup with a small size spoon were served to the same participants over two consecutive weeks. After each lunch, the eating rate, energy intake, and the satiety levels were measured.


Results showed that the subjects who were using a small spoon ate less beef shank soup (149.0 kcal) (p < 0.01) and had lower total energy intake (423.3 kcal) (p < 0.05) than using a normal spoon (178.7 and 461.1 kcal, respectively). Also, the meal time (15.7 min) (p < 0.01), a serving per one spoon (8.6 g) (p < 0.001), and eating rate (27.9 g/min) (p < 0.001) of those who used a small spoon were significantly different than that of those who used a normal spoon (13.6 min, 12.5 g and 35.7 g/min, respectively). However, despite consuming less energy at lunch, the level of satiety after eating from the small spoon was not significantly different from the normal spoon immediately after, 1 hour after and 2 hour after lunch.


Our results revealed that students were able to control their eating rate by using a small spoon and they could feel full enough even though they eat less. In conclusion, eating rate decrease by using a small spoon may play an important role in food intake.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

Picture of normal and small spoon.

Fig. 2

Picture of the meals served as lunch.

Fig. 3

Satiety level before and after lunch when a normal or small spoon was used. Values are Mean±standard deviation (SD) for 24 subjects.

Table 1

Characteristics of the subjects


1) Mean±SD

2) BMI: Body mass index, body weight (kg) / [height (m)]2

3) Eating Attitudes Test [23]

4) Zung Self-Rating Questionnaire [24]

Table 2

Usual eating and chewing behavior for the subjects

Table 3

Energy intake of rice, soup, side dish & total meal from lunch provided by the normal and small spoon


1) Mean±SD

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01 : normal spoon vs. small spoon by paired t-test

Table 4

Meal time, a serving per one spoon & eating rate from lunch provided by the normal and small spoon


1) Mean±SD

**: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001: normal spoon vs. small spoon by paired t-test


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