A study through Cornell University Food and Brand Lab shows that using a smaller bowl for you and your kids’ cereal is the best way to curb overeating. The same researchers discovered that looking at the sun hurts your eyes and that sitting on your hand might make it fall asleep.

In a nutshell, the Cornell study showed that kids want a large bowl filled to the brim and they leave behind what they can’t finish. Kids with smaller bowls also want the bowl filled but are fine with the ending quantity of food they ate. The study was done using a “well known sweetened breakfast cereal” in 8oz or 16oz bowls.

big cereal bowl, one cup

See? DRINK your cereal and everything will be fine.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends that children eat between 1,100 and 1,500 calories a day, while children aged 6-13 eat between 1,400 to 2,600 calories, depending on their age and activity level.

The study, appearing in The Journal of Pediatrics, seems only to present information we already know. We eat too much, nobody questions that. Also, the experiment being done with a “well known sweetened breakfast cereal” further skews the results. Wouldn’t recommending a low-fat, healthier breakfast cereal also be an option? Furthermore, physical activity was not part of the equation.

huge bowl of cereal

Kellog’s “let’s waste food” contest.

In last week’s podcast, I called out how ridiculous it seemed that a “one hour of activity a day” campaign was a 4 year goal. How hard can it possibly be to implement a little healthy eating and physical activity? Kids like to run…how hard is it to run? They don’t need lazer tag or a street hockey game organized when they’re happy just to be outside and play. Parents could also use the exercise and simply playing tag or even hide and go seek with your kids is a simple way of killing an hour and accidentally getting a light workout for everyone.


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