The size of your plate can control how much you eat, a new study has found – we know obvious, right? But it’s always good to know science says it so!
You sit down at a Prezzo, hungry after a long day and looking forward to a drink after work with your friends. The food arrives and man, it looks so good. In fact, you didn’t realize you were this hungry until the plate was set in front of you. In only twenty minutes, your stomach is stuffed and you wish you hadn’t eaten half so much.
The reason you ate that whole plate of pasta? It was there. A new study by Cochrane Library suggests that plate and silverware size can have an effect on how much you eat.
The study suggests being wary of food served in restaurants, buffets, and alcohol at bars for their larger portion size.
In order to investigate the effect the increase of portions has on our psyche, Dr. Gareth J Hollands set out to investigate whether a smaller package or portion of food would influence how full people felt after eating the whole plate. Dr Hollands’s team ran tests where they changed the size and shape of the plate, glass, and silverware to see its effects on how much the subjects ate and how full they felt after. The size of the plates did indeed have a large effect on how much the subjects ate and serving alcohol in smaller glasses had people drinking less.
The size of the plates had a large effect on how much the subjects ate and serving alcohol in smaller glasses had people drinking less
We, as humans, have an implicit bias to eat all the food in front of us as a survival technique, even when the size and portion of the food changes, the researchers said. Even the amount of food we perceive our cutlery to be able to hold can affect how much we eat, the study also found.
Smaller portions means reduced exposure to the risks of overeating. The UK has taken a stand toward the goals of this study by launching the Public Health Responsibility Deal after overeating and obesity was declared a public health crisis. It encourages food manufacturers, retailers and restaurants to sign and pledge to serve healthier food. While the government does their part to keep your food as healthy as they, maybe seek out smaller plates next time you go to IKEA.
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