If you want to lose weight, eat less. To eat less, use a smaller plate. Guess what? It doesn't work.
It turns out that plate size does not impact the amount of calories consumed or control portion sizes, according to researchers from 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 lead study author Meena Shah. "There was no plate size, weight status or plate size by weight status effect on meal energy intake."
The study: Ten women of normal weight and 10 women who were overweight or obese were invited to lunch on two different days. Each was randomly assigned to eat a meal of spaghetti and tomato sauce using either a small plate (21.6 cm) or a large plate (27.4 cm). The women served themselves and were told to eat until they were satisfied. Each woman ate alone and without any distractions. During the second lunch, each subject went through the same procedure but used the other size plate.
The results: The size of the luncheon plate had no effect on palatability, hunger, satiety, fullness and prospective consumption in either normal weight or overweight/obese women.
"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.
Those who were overweight or obese said they felt less hungry before the meal but also felt less full after the meal, compared with the women of normal weight. "This suggests that overweight/obese individuals may have a lower ability to sense hunger and fullness than normal weight adults," Shah explained.
The study findings were published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
--From the Editors at Netscape