New Kids' Obesity-Fighting Tool?

I've used it, and it works, it's very simple and now experts are saying it may do what other attempts have not been able to.  Fight childhood obesity.

It's not brain surgery.  But a new study has found using smaller bowls may help in the war against childhood obesity.

The study at Cornell University found that children asked for extra helpings when using larger bowls, and ate 52% more.

I hate those huge plates that your food now comes on in restaurants, and are usually the only size you can buy when purchasing dinnerware.  I purposely went out and found plates that are about 10 inches wide and I love them.  I can put less food on them and you still feel like you're eating a lot.

“The quickest way parents can help kids eat less might be to grab them a smaller bowl," says Brian Wansink, professor of behavioral economics and the lead author of the study, which appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics this month. “Make it 12 ounces rather than the 20 ounces we use."

For the study, 69 preschoolers were randomly given 8- or 16-ounce cereal bowls. Adults then served kids cereal and milk in increments until the kids indicated that they had enough food. The study showed that children with larger bowls requested 87% more cereal and milk regardless of their age, gender and body mass index.

In a second study, with 18 elementary students, researchers used secret scales embedded within the tables to weigh each cereal portion before and after the kids ate to measure exactly how much they consumed. The kids with larger bowls requested 69% more cereal and milk and also ate 52% more.

“Bigger bowls cause kids to request nearly twice as much food, leading to increased intake as well as higher food waste," says co-author Koert Van Ittersum, University of Groning. “Based on these findings, using smaller dishware for children may be a simple solution for caregivers who are concerned about their kids’ caloric intake."

Of course, it may not work for everyone in your household.  My husband made me go out and buy bigger plates for him.


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