Fitness Blog by Mike Farho

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Ice-cream, kiwi, banana, cookie - French dessert

Downsizing your tableware

Mon, 31 Jul 2006

Researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. found that the size of bowls, spoons, and other tableware influences how much we eat. My wife Sue has known that for years. She gives us small bowls and plates to help us eat less and feel more satisfied.

The study in N.Y. involved 85 food and nutrition experts at an ice-cream social. Each expert was randomly given either 17-ounce or 34-ounce bowls and either two-ounce or three-ounce serving scoops. The participants served the ice cream for themselves.

Even these food and nutrition experts, who were able to judge the size and calorie counts of their portions, took larger portions when using larger bowls and scoops. Doubling the size of their bowl increased how much people took by 31 percent. Giving people a scoop that was 50 percent larger increased servings by about 14.5 percent.

"Four ounces of ice cream in a small bowl may appear an appropriate amount for a mid-afternoon snack, but the same in a larger bowl may appear too small, leading one to over-serve," the study authors said.

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