Different eating habits can reduce the intake of calories, it has been suggested.
According to Brian Wansik, leader of a study conducted at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, said that by serving foods in the kitchen and then eating at a table, people tended to refill their plate less often.
"When we kept the serving dishes off the table, people ate 20 per cent fewer calories. Men ate close to 29 per cent less," said Mr Wansik.
The chair of the National Obesity Forum in the UK Dr David Haslam said that other factors also influenced the amount of food people eat.
"Research does show that if you eat a meal around the table, with the television switched off, a knife and fork, and with the family, eating becomes a social occasion because we're chatting away and there is less time to stuff food in our mouths," said Mr Haslam.
Independent advice on private healthcare