Because overconsumption of food contributes to ill health, understanding what affects how much people eat is of importance. The ‘bogus’ taste test is a measure widely used in eating behaviour research to identify factors that may have a causal effect on food intake. However, there has been no examination of the validity of the bogus taste test as a measure of food intake. We conducted a participant level analysis of 31 published laboratory studies that used the taste test to measure food intake. We assessed whether the taste test was sensitive to experimental manipulations hypothesized to increase or decrease food intake. We examined construct validity by testing whether participant sex, hunger and liking of taste test food were associated with the amount of food consumed in the taste test. In addition, we also examined whether BMI (body mass index), trait measures of dietary restraint and over-eating in response to palatable food cues were associated with food consumption. Results indicated that the taste test was sensitive to experimental manipulations hypothesized to increase or decrease food intake. Factors that were reliably associated with increased consumption during the taste test were being male, have a higher baseline hunger, liking of the taste test food and a greater tendency to overeat in response to palatable food cues, whereas trait dietary restraint and BMI were not. These results indicate that the bogus taste test is likely to be a valid measure of food intake and can be used to identify factors that have a causal effect on food intake.