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Did You Know?: Clean Plates & Overeating

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Air date: March 22, 2009


Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

It may be true.

Researchers at Cornell University found that pre-school kids whose parents essentially force them to eat more than they want are more likely to request largely portions of snack foods at day care.

The researchers think that kids naturally develop self-control around food, and that forcing kids to eat everything on their plate can hinder the normal tendency to eat only as much as they need to satisfy hunger.

The Cornell study was small, involving only 63 families, and the researchers can only speculate as to why kids told to clean their plates may have acted out by overeating away from home.

But nutrition experts agree that kids form eating habits early on, and that bad habits like overeating between meals can be hard to shake. Experts recommend that parents offer a variety of foods during meal times and encourage kids to sample a bit of everything and to let children decided for themselves how much they want to eat.

And now you know.