There’s a lot of research that shows that when we serve ourselves on smaller plates we tend to serve smaller portions which obviously means that we eat less in the long run. Most of this research is being carried out with adults however a team of researchers recently set out to find out if the same holds true when dealing with children.

Worldwide studies over the last few years have consistently shown that in the west up to a third of children and adolescents were overweight and many of them were significantly overweight to be counted as obese wherein they have had a huge accumulation of excess body fats.

A recent study that has been featured in the American Academy of Pediatric Journal reports on a research study that monitored 42 first graders during their lunch meal time for two sets of 4 days. One of those set of days the children used child size tableware and on the other 4-day period they had adult sized tableware.

The results of the study were actually very interesting and surprisingly enough confirmed the expectations leaned from the adult studies. In those children who used larger plates and bowls were apt to serve themselves more food in one sitting when compared with those children who used the child sized plates and bowls.

Dr. Thomas Robinson said that the results from the study are very interesting and confirmed our expectations that the impact of plate size on adults in the laboratory also applies to children. He goes on to say that “this study provides very important preliminary evidence that using smaller dishware may help reduce children’s energy intakes.”

It should be noted however that the authors of this study were keen to point out that these findings were at the best preliminary and more research was needed which I personally find a bit strange because to my mind it stands to reason that if children have followed a similar pattern to the adults, taking part in similar studies then it’s quite likely that the conclusions from those studies – that smaller plate sizes results in people eating less, will also prove true for children as well. And as much for the adults serving children on smaller plates would be one way of reducing the problem of obesity that we are seeing more and more in our youngsters.

Link to the study

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Filed under: ObesitySensible Eating

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