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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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com