The size of your tableware could mean more than you think, writes Katie Clift of Cancer Council Queensland.

Do you take note of the size of your tableware? Are the cups, bowls and plates you use smaller or larger than average? Why are we even asking this question? Is it even important?!

New research suggests you should put down your fork and take note. Larger bowls, cups and plates, oversized food portions and supersized deals are driving Queenslanders to overconsume – putting their health at risk.

The study found people consistently consume more food and drink when offered larger-sized portions, packages or tableware than when offered smaller-sized versions.

And the habit was true for people from all demographics – no matter their sex, age or weight – when people were presented with more, they ate and drank more.

Poor portion choices, upsize deals and simply bigger plates and bowls could increase the risk of chronic disease.


Consuming too much food and drink can lead to weight gain, which fast-tracks the risk of some cancers. And it’s a hefty problem in Queensland – more than 58 per cent of adults are overweight or obese and only 5.5 per cent eat enough fruits and veggies daily.

So what can we do?

For a start, use smaller tableware, and train yourself to eat mindfully. It’s important to stop eating when full to avoid overconsumption.

Get used to portioning your plate correctly. As a general rule, salads and vegetables should make up the biggest proportion of your plate – aim for at least five serves of vegetables every day.

Aim to fill about a quarter of your plate with carbohydrate-based foods like wholegrain bread, a medium sized potato, quinoa, rice or polenta.

The final quarter of your plate should be a source of protein – think cooked lean meats, poultry, fish or eggs, lentils, chickpeas and nuts.

Simply using smaller sized tableware, portioning your food in advance and eating mindfully could improve your health and prevent weight gain, leading to a healthier and happier you!

More information about having a healthy diet and reducing your risk of cancer is available at or 13 11 20.