We’re all in the clean-plate club, researchers conclude

July 24, 2014, Los Angeles Times

By Mary Macvean

Seems that most of us take to heart the common admonition to clean our plates, at least when we fill them ourselves.

Adults eat nearly 92 percent of the food they put on their plates, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity.

There were some variations: If people were distracted, they ate less, almost 89 percent of what they took; they ate 92.8 percent of meals but only 76.1 percent of snacks. At home or in a lab, the amount eaten was about the same, and men and women ate the same percentages.

“If you put it on your plate, it’s going into your stomach,” said Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and the study’s lead researcher. Wansink, who frequently studies eating habits, conducted the research with Katherine Abowd Johnson, a doctoral student at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Continue reading

Kids’ personalities may influence food portion size

Nov. 27, 2013, Medical Daily

By Lizette Borreli

Assessing a child’s personality may be an effective way to ward off childhood obesity in unhealthy kids. Extroverts are found to serve themselves more food than introverts regardless of whether they’re given a large or small bowl, according to a recent study.

In the United States the rate of childhood obesity has doubled over the past 30 years, with more than one-third currently overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unhealthy diet and poor eating habits are the most common contributors of this nationwide epidemic. Consuming fatty foods and sugary drinks, and indulging in oversized portions leads to excessive weight gain and increases the likelihood of becoming obese. A child’s personality may even be more easily influenced by environmental cues, such as large dinnerware, which could make them more susceptible to being over-served, and could lead to overeating. Continue reading

Dish size, meal frequency may affect kids’ weight

April 8, 2013, Reuters

By Genevra Pittman

Shrinking the size of kids’ plates and bowls and encouraging them to eat more frequently throughout the day might help them eat less and keep off extra weight, new research suggests.

In one study, researchers found first-graders served themselves smaller portions when using miniaturized dishware – and ate less food when they had less on their plate.

Another review of past research found kids and teens who ate most often during the day were 22 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the fewest meals and snacks. Continue reading