Changing The Plate Stops Overeating Essay

1620 words - 7 pages

In the last few decades the amount of food that people have eaten has increased. The overconsumption of food has a direct relation with obesity (Levitsky and Youn 1) Obesity leads to chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, gallbladder disease, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, gout, arthritis, and some malignancies (Ghavamzadeh, Khalkhali, and Alizadeh 1). In the college the way a freshman that lives on campus gets most of their meals from the dining hall. In the University of California, Riverside the dining hall is buffet style. In the buffet style you just grab a plate and pile on food as much as you want. The food that you don’t eat ends up in the trash. Micheal Neener, the AI general manager, stated “There is roughly 300 pound of food waste a day.” In a study from Cornell University they had 13 undergraduate students eat a set amount of food the first week. The next week they put them into groups that increase the amount of food they were given. The results were “The greater the amounts of food subjects were served, the more they consumed, with each portion size significantly different from the others (Levitsky and Youn 3). This shows that the amount of food you are served does affect how much you eat. It also shows that this is a problem that needs to be solved. My plan to combat this issue is to reduce the plate size. This is the best way to stop overeating because it is proven to be effective, it is an inexpensive way, and it also reduces food waste.
The way I’m going to execute my plan is to slowly bring in the plates throughout a year to a year and a half or all at once during the summer. Micheal Neener said that there are 3,000 oval plates and 1,500 square plates. The dishes would be slightly smaller. This would take place at both the AI and Lothian dining halls. My plan would essentially cost nothing at all because there is already money dedicated to buying new plates and cutlery. If they all due get replaced at once it would cost around $1.50 to $2.00 per plate. With the amount of plates the have this would cost a yearly fee of between $6750 and $9000 per hall. If this method is chosen the money would come from a small fee for student who lives in the dorms. This would be the way it would be implemented and how we would pay for the project.
One of the main reasons I want to change the plate size and color is because it has been proven to work. There is an illusion called the Delboef illusion that could help people eat less. “In 1865, Delboeuf documented a puzzling perceived difference in the size of two identical circles when one of the circles was surrounded by a much larger circle and the other one was surrounded by only a slightly larger circle” (Ittersum and Wansink 2). The illusions shows that people perceive the circle in only slightly larger circle looks relatively bigger than the other circle even though they are the same size. The stated that “It is well established that the Delboeuf illusion is...

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