Eat Everything On Your Plate? You're Not Alone, Says Science

Eat Everything On Your Plate? You're Not Alone, Says Science

By Laura Kenney

Do you eat pretty much everything on your plate? If you do, you're not alone.

The average adult eats 92 percent of what's put on her plate, according to a new Cornell University study. "If you put it on your plate, it's going into your stomach," says Brian Wansink Ph.D., author of professor of Marketing and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

In the study, 1179 diners were analyzed in eight countries—the US, Canada, France, Taiwan, Korea, Finland, and the Netherlands—and the results were nearly identical. If we serve it, we'll eat it regardless of gender or nationality.

The only people the findings didn't hold true with? kids—the average child eats only 59% of what he or she serves. "This might be because kids are less certain about whether they will like a particular food," says Wansink. "Regardless, this is good news for parents who are frustrated that their kids don't clean their plate. It appears few of them do."

According to Wansink, these findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, can make us eat smarter. "Just knowing that you're likely to consume almost all of what you serve yourself can help you be more mindful of appropriate portion size."

Next time you grab that serving spoon, think to yourself, "How much do I want to eat?" and serve accordingly.

Or, just use a smaller plate.

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