About The Buzz: A Smaller Plate Combats Childhood Obesity?

TheBUZZ A smaller plate combats childhood obesity?

The use of child-sized dishware by children will encourage better portion control and may reduce childhood obesity rates.


You may have heard that swapping out a large entrée plate for a smaller, side dish-sized plate will help you shed pounds. Research has proven that a smaller plate size results in better portion control among adults. The better your portion control, the less calories you consume, and the better your chance of losing weight. This is particularly important for overweight and obese adults. Until recently, no studies confirmed this finding among children. Researchers in Pennsylvania examined this possibility further, and found that plate size does in fact affect portion control among children. This could therefore impact childhood obesity rates.


The study included 42 elementary school children who served themselves an entrée and a side dish on either child- or adult-sized dishware. The children who served themselves on the adult-sized dishware filled their plates completely. They consumed, on average, 90 calories more than the children who used the child-sized dishware. Some children served themselves more fruit when using the adult-sized dishware, but did not include more vegetables.*


Be a role model for your family and demonstrate proper portion control. Here’s how …

    • Try to avoid serving yourself from large bowls and dishes at the table. Instead, portion out the food onto small, individual plates.
    • Eat slowly, and encourage discussion during your meal.
    • Aim to eat 4-6 small meals per day.

Don’t forget to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies to ensure you and your family are getting the recommended daily amounts. Check out our fruit and vegetable recipe search for hundreds of nutritionally-balanced recipes featuring fruits and vegetables!


* Bruten, Yasmeen, Adam Davey, Katherine DiSantis, et al. “Plate Size and Children’s Appetite: Effects of Larger Dishware on Self-Served Portions and Intake.” Pediatrics. 8 Apr. 2013. Web. View Article

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