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NewsBites October 2014 Issue

Most Belong to Clean-Plate Club

If you grew up being taught to clean your plate—and still mostly follow that motherly admonition—you’re not alone. A new analysis of 14 studies on portions and consumption habits finds that US adults eat almost 92% of the food we put on our plates. And the drive to eat everything on your plate isn’t just an American habit: Researchers found almost identical patterns in Canada, France, South Korea, Taiwan, Finland and the Netherlands.

“If you put it on your plate, it’s going into your stomach,” summarized lead researcher Brian Wansink, PhD, of Cornell University, who published the results in the International Journal of Obesity.

Men and women were equally prone to finish everything they were served, but children ate only about 60% of what was on their plates. People were more likely to clean their plates at meals than when munching snacks. Surprisingly, too, people ate a greater percentage of healthy fare like produce, whole grains and low-fat dairy than less-healthy choices.

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