The movement began in 2008 after Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert Van Ittersum published their nutritional study, “The Perils of Large Plates: Waist, Waste, and Wallet.” According to the study, people get food servings in proportion to their plate size. For example, 3 ounces of your favorite carbs looks comparatively smaller on a 12-inch plate than on a 10-inch plate. This is a result of the Delboeuf Illusion, where the optical illusion of the relative size creates a bias on your perception.
As a result, we tend to over-serve on larger dishes and underserve on smaller ones. According to Dr. Wansink, because people consume 92 percent of what they serve themselves, larger plates lead to larger food intake. To counter society’s increasing obesity and the upsize-me culture, Dr. Wansink promotes the use of smaller dinner plates the way people did in the olden times. If you look at your Lola’s collection of vintage chinaware, you’ll notice that the diameter is smaller than the modern plates you find in home depots.
When Dr. Wansink and his team applied this theory on their subjects, they found that reducing plate size from 12 inches to 10 inches resulted in 22 percent less calories served, as the smaller plate makes a normal serving seem more filling.
Are you willing to try the Small Plate Movement challenge, CGs? All you have to do is eat off of a 10-inch plate for your largest meal of the day for one month. The study predicts that this would lead to a weight loss of 18 pounds a year for the average adult. Just don’t overdo it by picking smaller than 9.5-inch plates. Dr. Wansink warns that when the plate size went below 9.5 inches in their study, people began to realize they’re tricking themselves and went back for seconds and thirds.