Many dieters have found it helpful to eat in smaller portions by using smaller plates, but a new study discovered that this scheme might not work for teenagers who are overweight.
Study co-author Lance Bauer of the University of Connecticut acknowledged the impact of smaller-sized portions to reduce food intake. “It has been assumed that overweight or obese consumers are more likely than others to underestimate the size of a food serving and accordingly overeat–particularly when the food is presented on a large dinner plate or in a large container… For this reason and others, it is frequently recommended that these consumers use smaller plates to defeat the illusion,” Bauer said in a news item.
However, the study revealed that teenage girls who were overweight or obese revealed might not be able to use the technique due to lack of attention. “The study found that, on average, overweight or obese adolescent girls were less attentive than normal weight girls to visual cues of different types… This finding suggests that changing the size of their dinnerware may be less effective than we thought. It also suggests that presenting them with detailed charts summarizing diet rules or calorie counts might also be less effective than we would like,” Bauer expressed.
The study involved more than 160 female teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 who were asked to assess food portion sizes in relation to the size of the plate.
“In diet education, one size might not fit all,” Bauer added.