Written by Brittni Rogers, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living, Spring 2013
In the world we live in bigger is said to be better, and Americans have taken this very seriously in almost all aspects of life. Some Americans have maybe taken this too seriously when it comes to everyday consumption. The article Size Matters: Plate Size Could Cut Childhood Obesity, touches on the subject of overweight children due to portion size. It’s a pretty basic concept, the bigger the plate the more food there is to scarf down. It can be hard to tell the amount of food you might be placing on your plate if you don’t take your plate size into account. Typically people are satisfied when their plate is cleaned, there shouldn’t be an option in some cases if you want more because going for seconds more likely than not causes one to exceed a healthy calorie intake. If appropriate portion sizes are regulated it could affect the high rate of obese children.
A study was done in a classroom over the course of a week to prove what a drastic difference plate size can do to calorie intake. Many parents want to make sure their kids are satisfied with their hunger because it’s one of the easiest things to control when they are away at school all day, so when dinner time comes around loading up their plates seem like the nice thing to do. As rates in childhood obesity have gone up a considerable amount in the past few years, being generous might not be the smartest way to gain your child’s approval. Previous research had said that one in three children are overweight, that is astonishing. Their eating habits and physical activity are clearly not proportioned correctly. Shouldn’t parents be advising their kids of this? Getting kids into good eating habits early is important so health problems aren’t more likely to arise later in life.
If something as simple as providing smaller plates, at school and at home, can help the statistics of obese children go down then why hasn’t the government enforced it yet? As stated before, in America bigger is better, so if you take away their large plates and basketball sized bowls they’ll think they’re being cheated out of food they expect. Another article in Time: Childhood Obesity Rates Drop Slightly in Some Cities: What Are They Doing Right? claims that by increasing the nutritional value of the food available in controlled settings, like school, changes can be made. Paying close attention and adjusting children’s habits now can drastically improve their long-term lifestyle. Schools should continue with their research and changes that are leading towards making a recovery of this harmful obesity epidemic.