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Smaller plates could encourage weight loss

Patients looking to lose weight should use smaller plates and focus on portion size, research suggests.

The University of Cambridge researchers analysed 61 studies and found that smaller plates, glasses and cutlery all meant people ate less.

There proportion of UK adults that were obese has risen from 13.2% in 1993 to 26% in 2013 for men, and from 16.4% to 23.8% for women, the latest Health and Social Care Information Centre statistics revealed.

However, the review found that a sustained reduction in large portion sizes across the diet of a UK adult could mean up to 279 calories were reduced each day, totalling 1,953 a week.  

Dr Gareth Hollands from the Behaviour and Health Research Unit, who co-led the research, said: “Helping people to avoid 'overserving' themselves or others with larger portions of food or drink by reducing their size, availability and appeal in shops, restaurants and in the home, is likely to be a good way of helping lots of people to reduce their risk of overeating.”

The data, which was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, showed that when people are offered more food they will eat it.