>School lunch meals with oversized offering and its effect on kindergarten students were called alarming by researchers for the Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine and Penn State University.
In the study, two series of lunches were served to 30 preschool children, aged three to five. One series offered an age-appropriate portion of a macaroni-and-cheese entrée; the other, a portion twice as large.
Researchers found that children ate about 25 percent more of the entrée when they were served the larger portion. Their overall calorie intake was 15 percent higher.
Jennifer Fisher, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor, noted that the capacity of large portion sizes to encourage overeating among young children is alarming. Given the growing problem of obesity in children, the findings imply that minimizing children’s exposure to excessive portions may reduce overeating.