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Plate watchers 20.05.13

DROPPING a plate size could also help you drop a dress size, nutritionists believe.
Plate, cup, glass and cutlery sizes have all grown dramatically over the years as Irish obesity levels soar. A cereal bowl circa 1980 is tiny compared to what passes for a cereal bowl today. But dieticians believe that eating your dinner from a plate two inches smaller can help you lose over a stone in a year.
The Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI) says reducing plate size would help towards an overall healthy weight loss plan.
"People trying to lose weight would benefit from using smaller plates and bowls to help reduce their food portions and total energy intake. However the change in delph ware size is only one in a series of behaviour and dietary changes that would be needed to promote weight loss," said INDI president, Richelle Flanagan.
Government figures reveal that 61 per cent of Irish adults and 22 per cent of 5-12 year old children are overweight or obese.
Meanwhile, a Small Plate Movement underway in the US urges people to avoid super-size dishware at home and dining out.
The public health initiative found that switching from a 12-inch to a 10-inch diameter plate for the largest meal of the day can help an average size adult lose as much as 18 pounds in a year.
“A person tends to over-serve onto larger plates, and because people consume an average of 92 per cent of what they serve themselves, larger plates lead to larger food intake,” the movement states.
A study showing that American plate sizes have jumped by a massive 22 per cent in the last hundred years is borne out here too, says INDI.
Plate size may also have a co-relating effect on childhood obesity levels with one study showing that a group of children served themselves more food when using adult-sized plates.
The INDI also urged drinkers to be aware of bigger wine glasses and the corresponding calories.
“Awareness in the adult population of the calories in alcohol intake would assist in weight reduction with one standard drink (100mls) of alcohol the equivalent of approximately 100kcal. That is 750kcal in one bottle of wine which, with the larger sized glasses in today's homes and restaurants, is often easily consumed without an understanding of the calories or health effects," said Ms Flanagan.
The INDI advises people to eat a varied, healthy diet and take regular physical activity.
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