How Much is in Your Plate?
Depends on the Size of the Plate

Looking for another way to help keep portions under control? Try reducing the size of your plates, bowls and spoons. A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests this technique may support weight-loss efforts because it helps people better control how much they eat.

Eighty-five participants from a large Midwestern university, all of whom were experienced in nutrition, were invited to attend an ice cream social. Subjects were randomly given a 17-ounce or 34-ounce bowl and a 2-ounce or 3-ounce scoop and allowed to serve themselves ice cream. Their bowls were then weighed and each subject answered questions
about how much they thought they had served themselves and how the size of the bowl and scoop differed from what they normally used.
Those who received the larger bowls served themselves 31 percent more ice cream than those who used the smaller bowls. And those who used the larger serving spoons scooped up 14.5 percent more ice cream than those who used the smaller spoons, regardless of the size of the bowl. Of the 85 participants, 82 ate all of their ice cream.

Overall, those who used the larger spoons and bowls ate nearly 57 percent more ice cream than those who used the smaller bowls and spoons. “What is critical to note, however, is that people—even these nutrition experts—are generally unaware of having served themselves more,” write the study’s authors.
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