Does Dish Size Affect How Much We Eat?

Most of us decide how much to eat before we put any food into our mouths.

We eyeball how much we want, dish it out, and then eat until it’s gone.

One study shows how larger dishes lead to serving greater amounts, leading us to consume more calories.

The study

In this study, distinguished professors and Ph.D. nutrition students were invited to an ice cream social. These guests were given either medium-sized or large bowls upon arrival. They were allowed to serve themselves as much ice cream as they wanted.

When these hungry party-goers weren’t paying attention, an experimenter weighed their ice cream bowls.

The findings

Those that were given the larger sized bowls dished out about 31% more ice cream than those given a smaller bowl.

That’s an extra 127 calories!

What you need to know

As the size of our dishes increase, so does the amount of food we scoop onto them.

Large dishes make our food look so small so we serve ourselves more.

The smaller the serving dish, the less you take and the less you eat.


Use smaller bowls and plates to keep yourself from taking too much and eating too much.

Have you ever been to a fancy restaurant and noticed how small some food looks on big plates?


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  1. Lose Weight over the holidays

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