Study: Plate size may affect calories consumed by children

April 8, 2013 1:15:07 PM PDT
Researchers say portion control begins with plate size -- even for children.

In a study, 41 first graders in Philadelphia were given large plates and allowed to served themselves.

The children took more food -- and consumed more calories.

A child's body mass index did not predict who would take more food. Children served themselves about 90 more calories when they used the large plate at lunch compared to a small plate.

If it was a food they really liked, they helped themselves to about 104 more calories.

Experts say about 17 percent of children ages 2-19 are considered obese in the US. Authors of the report, published in the journal Pediatrics, hope smaller plates may give children guidance on portion sizes.