size of your plate making you overeat Waitplate

Is the size of your plate making you overeat?

At Waitplate we talk a lot about the psychology behind food and how sensible eating comes down to retraining our brain and eating habits. One of those habits is re-educating our brain to understand portion sizes visually (as seen through our portion control plates).

In the Western World in particular, we have become conditioned into expecting a full plate of food with not much bare surface space – unless that space is drizzled with sauce. This becomes a problem when the physical size of our dinner plates is getting bigger.

Below is a timeline of the average size of dinner plates over the last 60 years:

1950’s – 9 inches

1980’s – 10 inches

2000’s – 11 inches

2013 – 13 inches

When our stomach and appetite work on visual cues from our brain, this increase in plate size across the years is not giving us much of a chance to maintain sensible eating habits and portion control. Our urge to fill up every blank space on our plates with food is leading us to overeating without even realising it.

The other concern with the size of plates is children overeating.  When children are being served the same sized plates as adults, particularly if these plates are 13 inches, this is setting the child up for possible overeating and even obesity issues.

By educating not only yourself but your children’s visual aids when it comes to portion control and how much is enough, it all starts with the plate you’re serving the meal on.

The Waitplate System offers the perfect tool that that whole family can use with our Contemporary Plate and our Waitplate Portion Control plate offering tableware that physically maps out how much you actually need on your plate – and it’s not 13 inches!




Michelle Bridges ABC Australian Story

Michelle Bridges speaks out about childhood obesity on ABC’s Australian Story

Childhood obesity is a hot topic and with good reason. There is an estimated 1.5 million people in Australia under the age of 18 that are considered overweight or obese. This transcends into approximately 20-25% of Australian children being overweight or obese.

Alarmingly, if this trends continues one third of Australian children will be obese by 2020.

In a recent interview as part of her Australian Story episode ‘Building Bridges’ which aired on the ABC earlier this week, fitness trainer, business woman and media personality Michelle Bridges has also jumped on the wagon to address and tackle the issue of childhood obesity. In her story Michelle said:

Having Axel has really made me think about how I can use what I’ve learnt about health and fitness to make a better life for kids like him. Potentially getting out there and putting some truth and hard-hitting messages around the junk food industry and the sugar industry. And the truth of the matter is: they sell crap food and make people sick. And that makes me angry.

I’d like to tackle the junk food industry the way that the tobacco industry was tackled 50-odd years ago. We’re now seeing children that potentially have a lifespan shorter than their parents. Never before have we ever seen that globally. We’re now seeing it. Why? I’d like to get out there and start fighting the fight for others who can’t fight the fight.”

Not only are children eating the wrong foods but they’re eating too much of it. The difficulty is that children will only eat what is put in front of them from their parents, which is not only establishing their eating behavior but also their future health.

Educating children at a young age about ‘sometimes’ foods, the importance of healthy food, the correct portion sizes of food and the speed they should be eating their food all contribute to their overall health and well-being both as a child and as they grow into adults.

Michelle Bridges ABC Australian Story L

Michell Bridges on ABC’s Australian Story ‘Building Bridges’.

jamie oliver soft drink tax

UK taxes sugary drinks as childhood obesity figures continue to increase

The United Kingdom government has announced that as of 2018 there will be a tax on any drinks with more than 5 grams of sugar per every 100ml.  The announcement comes as the problem of childhood obesity in the United Kingdom continues to rise as well as ongoing health issues from the over-consumption of sugary food and drink products.

Chef, businessman, restaurant owner and healthy living advocate, Jamie Oliver has applauded the decision and urged other countries such as Spain, Germany and Australia to do the same to help tackle the problem of childhood obesity.

Soft drinks are seen as the main offenders when it comes to high sugar content, but many drinks on the supermarket shelves contain just as much if not more sugar content such as:

  • Iced tea
  • Juice
  • Energy drinks
  • Flavoured milk drinks

The problem with these particular drinks is that the sugar content is not in proportion to the average daily consumption needs of an average person, let alone a child. In fact in some bottles of drink, you can receive your weekly intact of sugar in five mouthfuls.

The best idea if you are needing a sugar fix or the kids want to drink something a bit sweet is the sensible way of simply squeezing some real fruit into some ice cold water. It is important to understand the correct portion sizes not only when it comes to food but to specific food groups and ingredients such as sugar.

eating behaviour affecting children

Eating behaviours that are affecting our children’s behaviour

In the last few decades in particular there has been an overall spike in the amount of conditions and ‘behavourial disorders’ that are being used on children. Whilst there is a need for understanding behavioural patterns of children that may need assistance, there also needs to be more emphasis on not only the food in which they are being fed, but their general eating behaviours as well.

If a child has bad eating habits or eating behaviours, this will affect a range of elements including:

  • their digestive system
  • the bodies natural chemical balance
  • concentration levels
  • energy levels
  • emotions

So what things affect a child’s eating behaviour? Behaviour is a habit that is either genetic or influenced by environment. Eating behaviour includes:

As a parent, we have not only have control on our children’s eating behaviour but we are responsible for their eating behaviour. Encouraging and exposing your child to a healthy attitude towards food and the behaviour which surrounds it will set the foundations for later in life and give them a better chance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle and an improvement in their overall behaviour.

The Waitplate System was designed with the whole family in mind. A way in which everyone can learn and re-educate their existing eating behaviours. Click here for more information about our portion control eating templates and dinnerware.