Is plate clearing a risk factor for obesity? A cross-sectional study of self-reported data in US adults
© 2014 The Obesity Society. Objectives Identifying eating behaviors which contribute to excess weight gain will inform obesity prevention strategies. A tendency to clear one's plate when eating may be a risk factor for obesity in an environment where food is plentiful. Whether plate clearing is associated with increased body weight in a cohort of US participants was examined. Methods Nine hundred and ninety-three US adults (60% male, 80% American European, mean age = 31 years) completed self-report measures of habitual plate clearing together with behavioral and demographic characteristics known to be associated with obesity. Results Plate clearing tendencies were positively associated with BMI and remained so after accounting for a large number of other demographic and behavioral predictors of BMI in analyses (β = 0.18, 95% CIs = 0.07, 0.29, P- <- 0.001); an increased tendency to plate clear was associated with a significantly higher body weight. Conclusions The tendency to clear one's plate when eating is associated with increased body weight and may constitute a risk factor for weight gain.