A review of visual cues associated with food on food acceptance and consumption

Devina Wadhera, Elizabeth D. Capaldi-Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Several sensory cues affect food intake including appearance, taste, odor, texture, temperature, and flavor. Although taste is an important factor regulating food intake, in most cases, the first sensory contact with food is through the eyes. Few studies have examined the effects of the appearance of a food portion on food acceptance and consumption. The purpose of this review is to identify the various visual factors associated with food such as proximity, visibility, color, variety, portion size, height, shape, number, volume, and the surface area and their effects on food acceptance and consumption. We suggest some ways that visual cues can be used to increase fruit and vegetable intake in children and decrease excessive food intake in adults. In addition, we discuss the need for future studies that can further establish the relationship between several unexplored visual dimensions of food (specifically shape, number, size, and surface area) and food intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-143
Number of pages12
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Color
  • Food
  • Number
  • Portion size
  • Variety
  • Visual cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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