Newswise — The size of one’s dinner plate does not help to curb energy intake or control portion sizes, according to a recent study conducted at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
“Smaller plates are often recommended as a way of controlling intake, but that simply isn’t an effective strategy,” said Meena Shah, senior researcher and professor of kinesiology at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth. “There was no plate size, weight status, or plate size by weight status effect on meal energy intake.”
Researchers including Meena Shah, senior researcher, Rebecca Schroeder, lead researcher, and Walker Winn from Texas Christian University, and Beverley Adams-Huet from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas examined 10 normal weight women and 10 overweight or obese women over two different days at lunch. Subjects were randomly assigned to consume lunch using either a small (21.6 cm) or large (27.4 cm) plate. The meal, which consisted of spaghetti and tomato sauce, was served in an individual serving bowl. Each subject was asked to self-serve the food from the bowl onto the assigned plate and instructed to eat until satisfied. The meal was consumed alone and without any distractions. During the second lunch, each subject went through the same procedure but using the alternative size plate.
“It is possible that plate size does not have an impact on energy intake because people eat until they are full regardless of what utensils they are using,” said Shah.
Plate size also did not affect ratings of palatability, hunger, satiety, fullness and prospective consumption in either normal weight or overweight/obese women.
“Those who were overweight/obese reported lower levels of hunger and prospective consumptions before the meals and felt less full after the meals compared to normal weight subjects despite no difference in energy consumption between two groups,” said Shah. “This suggests that overweight/obese individuals may have a lower ability to sense hunger and fullness than normal weight adults.”
The findings were published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics in December.
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Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics (December)