Food Perception Bias: Body Mass Index and Snacking Behaviors




Wilson, Bliss

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It is possible that overweight people have greater perceptual biases of food and drink than people of healthy weight and has been suggested that current diet may affect dietary memories. I hypothesized that (1) there would be a significant negative correlation between participants' body mass index and accuracy of perception of cheese puff amounts, (2) participants’ estimates of food amounts would be significantly more accurate when the cheese puffs were visually present compared to participants’ estimates when the cheese puff containers were occluded from view, and (3) participants’ estimates would be significantly more accurate for containers having fewer, large cheese puffs compared to participants’ accuracy estimates for containers having more, smaller cheese puffs. After surveying 51 Texas State University undergraduate psychology majors, using 10 identically cylindrical, clear, glass containers of identical weight displaying varying amounts of large cheese puffs and small cheese puffs, it was found that BMI was unrelated to accuracy of cheese puff estimates, the manipulation had no effect on the accuracy of estimates, and overall, amounts of large cheese puffs were estimated more accurately than small cheese puffs.



food perception, perception, food amounts, perception bias, BMI and snacking, snacking, Honors College


Wilson, B. (2009). Food perception bias: Body mass index and snacking behaviors (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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