Size Matters When It Comes to Portion Control

SIZE MATTERS Use a big bowl and a big scoop, and you're liable to overeat at the ice cream buffet, new research from Cornell University shows. The researchers held an ice cream social and observed whether extra-large bowls and serving spoons caused the attendees to have more ice cream. Eighty-five people were divided into four groups -- big bowl, small spoon; big bowl, big spoon; small bowl, big spoon; small bowl, small spoon. Results, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, show that doubling the size of a person's bowl increased the amount of ice cream a person took by about 30 percent. Only three people didn't finish their bowls. Authors believe that using the right size may help avoid unconscious overeating.

HORMONES & DAMAGED KNEES Sex hormones may be linked to the development of osteoarthritis, says a new study from Arthritis and Rheumatism. Researchers from the University of Michigan tested more than 800 women with X-rays of both knees along with blood tests and found that those with arthritis were more likely to have low concentrations of estrogen in their blood. However, these findings are preliminary, and the exact relationship between hormone levels and osteoarthritis is unknown. The authors say more study is needed to determine whether altering hormone levels actually changes the risk of arthritis.

BIRTH WEIGHT, BLOOD PRESSURE AND RACE Higher weight at birth is linked to higher blood pressure in African-American children but not white children, researchers from Johns Hopkins University say after analyzing data on nearly 30,000 U.S. children from birth to 7 years of age. Their results, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, also show that poverty and low levels of education in the mother are risk factors for childhood high blood pressure. Researchers believe that African-American children may be born with a predisposition for higher blood pressure, either from genes or from experiences in the womb.

STAT is a brief look at the latest medical research and is compiled by Joanna Schaffhausen, who holds a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience. She works in the ABC News Medical Unit, evaluating medical studies, abstracts and news releases.

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