New in the Market: Precise Portions Dinnerware

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on February 20, 2012 · 0 comments

We enjoy trying new kitchen gadgets.  Some are great. Some don’t measure up and some become staples in our kitchen. See what you think.

One of the major obstacles to weight control is portion distortion. People simply do not know how much is in a normal portion size. Restaurants serve enormous amounts of food and the average dinner plate has grown larger over the last 25 years. Judging how much to eat can be a major barrier to losing weight and maintaining weight loss.

Ed and Ann Marie Stephens, product development engineers with a family history of type 2 diabetes, designed a portion control, porcelain, dinnerware system called Precise Portions. For someone trying to lose weight or newly diagnosed with diabetes, this dinnerware can aid them in determining the right amount to eat.

The Portion Control Kit contains: 1 place setting (dinner plate, soup bowl, snack bowl, dessert plate, and 10-ounce glass), 1 portion control scoop (4 ounces), a Quick Start Guide containing basic eating information and effective use tips for the dinnerware, a covered sectioned plastic to-go plate, and 7 plastic nutrition guide placemats. The Focus pattern (see image) not only divides the plate into non-starchy veggies, starch or grains, and meat or meat substitutes but there is reminder information printed on the plate to reinforce healthy eating selections and portion amounts. The Life-style pattern simply has subtle design elements on the plate to suggest sections with no printed information. The large and small bowl and the glass use the leaf design to signal amounts. The large bowl is sectioned into ½ cup (4 ounces), 1 cup (8 ounces) and 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) portions. The smaller dessert bowl is divided into ½ cup, ¾ cup and 1 cup servings. The leaf design on the glass marks 4 ounce and 8 ounce portions.

These dishes can be very instructive for someone who has to regulate portions. Most will be surprised to see that a 1 cup serving of cereal only fills half the bowl. Most people simply fill a soup bowl with cereal and consider it one serving. In actuality a full bowl is more than a serving and closer to 2 servings. A similar revelation will come with ice cream. The standard serving is ½ cup. Using the smaller dessert bowl it clearly shows this is a much smaller portion than most people usually eat.

Though pricey at $99.99 for the Portion Control Kit and $229.99 for service for 4 of either plate pattern, if a person achieves better control of their diabetes or loses weight, the investment would be worthwhile.

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