The surface area of an average dinner plate in the United States increased 36 percent from 1960 to 2005.
Source: Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink.
This is particularly problematic for "visual eaters" for whom the amount of food on a plate plays a role in their psychological satiety, as well as for those individuals cutting calories.
A lower-calorie eating plan in and of itself is a big enough enough adjustment for most people; seeing large plates with small amounts of food on them certainly doesn't help matters.
I know from my own experience, for example, that a single scoop of ice cream looks paltry in a soup bowl, but just right when served in a coffee cup.
The times when I have scooped ice cream into a soup bowl, I always end up piling on another scoop because that bowl seems empty!
Take a look at the image accompanying this post. Doesn't the plate on the left make you feel somewhat less satisfied than the one on the right?
Imagine the following. You are on a buffet line, filling your plate with food.
Isn't it very probable that since a larger plate holds more food, you are more likely to pile more food on it than if you were provided with a smaller plate?
And, going off of Brian Wansink's research that it is very easy to lose track of calories when large amounts of food are sitting in front of us, isn't it also very probable that the use of a larger plate is very likely to result in a higher caloric intake?
I certainly think so.
Just one more factor to consider when thinking about weight management.