Entries in Plate (2)


Are You a Mindless Eater?

Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- When it comes to eating, your eyes are truly bigger than your stomach, according to new study from Cornell University.

Brian Wansink, a food psychologist at the university, told WebMD that many people are victims of what he calls "mindless eating," or subconscious eating habits that can cause weight gain.  These habits include eating off large plates which, the study finds, results in more food consumption.

For instance, in one test the researchers conducted of 168 moviegoers, they found that the participants ate 34 to 45 percent more popcorn if it was served in a larger bucket as opposed to a regular container, regardless of whether the popcorn was fresh or stale.

Another test, WebMD reports, found that people poured 37 percent more liquid into shorter and wider glasses compared to their taller and skinnier counterparts.

These associations between consumption and the size of dinnerware were also evident in a survey that compared the eating habits of the French and Americans.

Wansink told WebMD, "We asked 150 Parisians how they knew they were through with dinner and they said, 'When we're full.'  When we asked 150 Chicagoans the same question, they said, 'When the plate is empty.'"

One way to stave off mindless eating, Wansink suggests, is to eat off smaller plates.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


No More Food Pyramid: Nutritional Icon Is Now a Plate

USDA(WASHINGTON) -- The food pyramid that represented a healthy diet for almost 20 years now gives way to a food plate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack unveiled the new icon. It's called MyPlate, and it has four colored sections representing fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. Next to the plate is a smaller circle representing dairy products.

"MyPlate is a truly simple, powerful visual cue to help people adopt healthy eating habits at meal times," said Vilsack.

On MyPlate's website, the USDA emphasizes several important nutrition messages: eat smaller portions, make at least half the plate fruits and vegetables and avoid sugary drinks.

Nutrition experts believe a plate is a good choice.

"It answers the simple question, 'What should my plate look like at any given meal?'" said Baltimore nutritionist Monica Reinagel.

The original pyramid was released in 1992 and included the four food groups stacked in the shape of a pyramid with the number of recommended servings a person should eat from each group in a day. The widest part of the pyramid shows the foods that should make up most of the diet -- breads, cereals and grains. Fats occupy the top of the pyramid.

The USDA revised the pyramid in 2005. The new symbol expanded the number of food groups to six and also included a person walking up steps on the side of the pyramid to emphasize the need for exercise.

Nutrition experts are glad to see both versions of the pyramid go. They say they were complicated, and sometimes gave the wrong ideas about certain foods.

"The food pyramid has been described by many as difficult to understand and as the obesity rates would suggest, has gone largely unheeded by many," said Martin Binks, clinical director of Binks Behavioral Health in Durham, N.C.

Experts say the new campaign emphasizes the right points.

"The main message should be that half your plate should really be fruits and vegetables," said Kristin Kirkpatrick, wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic.

"Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, essential vitamins and photochemicals, which are cancer-fighting substances," said Susan Levin, director of nutrition education at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio