Dishing Up Healthier Portions

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Story Updated: Apr 9, 2013

If you've ever dieted...you've probably heard that it's a good idea to use smaller plates, so there's less room to load up. Studies have shown that this trick helps adults consume less ...Researchers in Pennsylvania wanted to know if plate size affects how much kids eat, too.

So, they designed an experiment, and tested it out with first graders in a school cafeteria. Children were allowed to serve themselves an entree and side dishes using either child- or adult-size plates and bowls.

The results? Students using the larger dishes not only filled them up...but also ate almost 50 percent of the extra calories they piled on. On average, children served themselves 90 extra calories at lunch when using adult size dishes.

There was one nugget of good news- Kids with the larger plates also took more fruit. Though the same could not be said for vegetables.

The researchers suggest parents try using smaller dishes at home to control calories during meals.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV bringing you another ounce of prevention.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.