Plate Size Effects How Much We Eat
There are many steps to overcoming obesity in America. Consider this: The average American dinner plate has increased in size by 25% since the early 1900s. The plates of the 1960s were about 9 inches in diameter. The plates of the 1980s about 10 inches, and plates had grown to eleven inches by 2000. Drinking glasses have also gotten larger. An easy weight loss trick is to use a smaller plate.
How it works: Most Americans tend to use all the available space on their plates. Not only that, we also eat all of what we have put into that space. Therefore, a smaller plate results in eating less food. This is not mere speculation — it has been proven in studies that eating from a smaller plate results in weight loss. Read, “5 Causes of Obesity.”
How Much Does Plate Size Matter?
It appears that plate size matters quite a bit when determining how much we eat.
Grad students, faculty, and staff from the nutrition department at Cornell University were invited to an ice cream social held by researchers at the college. Participants were given either large or small bowls as well as large or small spoons. The distribution was random. All participants then helped themselves to ice cream. The results were eye-opening:
The end result was that participants who used a larger bowl ate 30% more ice cream than those who had smaller bowls. Participants who used larger spoons ate 15% more ice cream even if they had selected a smaller bowl. Participants who received both a large bowl and large spoon ate 57% more ice cream.
The results of a similar test that was administered to children were recently published in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal Pediatrics.
Forty-two first graders in Philadelphia were allowed to serve themselves from a buffet over an eight-day period. The children received adult-sized plates on half those days and child-sized plates on the other half. The plates were weighed before and after lunch.
The results were very much the same as the Cornell ice cream social:
Children who were found to have served themselves more calories were also found to have done so on the days when they received the adult-sized plate.
Plate Size Weight Loss Trick
The findings from these studies draw the same conclusion. Whereas plate size seems to influence the quantity of food eaten, the better choice would be to select a smaller plate at meal time. Read, “10 Healthy Eating Resolutions” for additional weight loss tricks.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life