Monday, April 8, 2013

Smaller Dishes Could Cut Childhood Obesity

Smaller plates, fewer calories? The latest study shows one way to fight childhood obesity may be to shrink the size of the dinner plate. According research published in the journal Pediatrics, first-graders served themselves more and downed more calories when they used a large plate instead of a smaller one.

Simply advising parents — and kids — to eat less and exercise more hasn’t turned the childhood obesity epidemic around. And it’s obvious why: high-calorie foods are plentiful, not to mention sugary beverages that can also pack on the pounds. Portion sizes have ballooned over the past several decades. And at least one study reported that plate sizes have increased too. With one in three U.S. kids now defined as overweight or obese, researchers at Temple University decided to study how effective shrinking plate sizes could be in keeping appetites in check.