Portion-control dishes may help obese diabetics lose weight

Jun 25, 2007

A plate and cereal bowl with markers for proper portion sizes appear to help obese patients with diabetes lose weight and decrease their use of glucose-controlling medications, according to a report in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Between 1960 and 2000, the proportion of U.S. adults who were obese increased from 13.4 percent to 30.9 percent, according to background information in the article. Most cases of type 2 diabetes can be attributed directly to obesity. Restricting calories has been shown to improve blood sugar control in diabetics, partially by contributing to weight loss. “The increasing prevalence of obesity is paralleled by increasing portion sizes in the marketplace,” the authors write. “Portion sizes are an important determinant of energy intake; the number of calories ingested by subjects at a meal has been directly correlated with the serving size offered.”

Sue D. Pedersen, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., and colleagues at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, conducted a six-month controlled trial of commercially available portion control plates and bowls in 2004. The plates were divided into sections for carbohydrates, proteins, cheese and sauce, with the rest left open for vegetables. The sections approximately totaled an 800-calorie meal for men and a 650-calorie meal for women. The cereal bowl is designed to allow a 200-calorie meal of cereal and milk. Half of 130 obese patients with diabetes (average age 56) were randomly assigned to use the plate for their largest meal and the bowl when they ate cereal for breakfast. The other half of the participants received usual care, which consisted of dietary assessment and teaching by dieticians.

At the end of the six-month follow-up, 122 patients remained in the study. Individuals using the portion-control dishes lost an average of 1.8 percent of their body weight, while those receiving usual care lost an average of 0.1 percent. A significantly larger proportion of those using the dishes—16.9 percent vs. 4.6 percent—lost at least 5 percent of their body weight. “This is important, as a 5 percent weight loss has been shown to be clinically significant in terms of decreasing morbidity and mortality associated with obesity-linked disorders such as cancer and myocardial infarction [heart attack],” the authors write.

In addition, more of those in the intervention group vs. the regular care group experienced a decrease in their use of diabetes medications after six months (26.2 percent vs. 10.8 percent).

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers discuss sugar's highs, lows

Mar 24, 2011

America's growing sweet tooth is super-sizing waistlines and the nation's health care price tag, warn University of California researchers. People in the U.S. are eating 21 times more sweet stuff today than the pilgrims and ...

Why some people are lean and others fat

Mar 07, 2011

With an abundance of food available, it’s not surprising that people are getting fatter. But why do some people remain lean? A Cambridge University scientist suggests that the reason is rooted deep in ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Gate for bacterial toxins found

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...

Adventurous bacteria

To reproduce or to conquer the world? Surprisingly, bacteria also face this problem. Theoretical biophysicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have now shown how these organisms should ...