Forty graduate students were invited to a Super Bowl party and they were served roasted nuts and Chex Mix from one of two buffet tables. One table had two big bowls of the snacks, while the other had the snacks split into four small bowls.
The researchers found that people who served themselves from the large bowls ate 56 percent more than those who used the smaller serving bowls, reported FoodPsychology.com.
As a result, those eating from the bigger bowls ate an extra 142 calories, according to Brian Wansink, lead researcher. "A handful of Chex Mix from a large bowl doesn't seem like enough, but one from a medium bowl seems just about right," he said.
Use smaller serving bowls for high-calorie party foods, but a for carrots or bell pepper strips used for dipping, use the big bowls to encourage party-goers to eat more vegetables, advised Wansink.