224145 In the eye of the beholder--the effect of plate and bowl size on children's self-served portion sizes

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yasmeen Bruton, BS , Public Health, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Katherine Isselmann Disantis, PhD , African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Elizabeth Lea Hanna, BA , Public Health, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Elena Serrano, PhD , Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Leann Birch, PhD , Center for Childhood Obesity Research, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Jennifer Orlet Fisher, PhD , Public Health, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Large food portions are thought to contribute to child obesity by inflating consumption norms and stimulating intake. These effects are attributed to visual cues; including the size of eating implements [EI] (i.e. plate, bowls). Whether EI influences children's self-selected portion [SSP], however, is not well established. Objectives: To evaluate the effect of EI on SSP in children. We hypothesized children's SSPs would be greater when serving with larger EI. Methods: Participants were 42 1st grade children, observed weekly during lunch offered as part of the USDA National School Lunch Program. A within subjects design was used where children served themselves using reference or large EI (~100% increase surface area/volume); condition order was counter balanced across classrooms. An amorphous (i.e. pasta) and unit food (i.e. chicken nugget) entrée were evaluated on separate days. Applesauce and mixed vegetable side dishes were evaluated at each meal. Fixed portions of milk and bread were provided. SSP of entrée and side dishes were primary outcomes. BMI-for-age z-scores were calculated for inclusion in final models, with child gender, food preferences, and demographics as covariates. Results: Main effects of EI size on SSP were significant for the amorphous entrée (p<0.01), unit entrée (p<0.05), fruit (p<0.0001), and vegetable (p<0.01). Children served themselves approximately 22.5% more amorphous entrée (77 kcal), 11.6% more unit entrée (49 kcal), 12.0% more fruit (18 kcal), and 11.0% more vegetable (9 kcal) when using larger EI. Conclusion: These findings provide evidence that size-related visual cues influence young children's self-served portions at meals.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effects of portion size on food and energy intake. Evaluate the effect of plate size on food and energy intake. Discuss the interaction of portion size and plate size and its effects on food and energy intake.

Keywords: Child Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Bachelors of Science in Public Health from Temple University. I am a research analyst in the Family Eating Laboratory of Temple University. I have assisted on numerous research studies funded by National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture with the objective to study food preferences and eating patterns of young children in order to inform future obesity prevention strategies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.