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Health & Medicine A Tray at Lunch may Help you Pick Healthier Options: Study

A Tray at Lunch may Help you Pick Healthier Options: Study

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First Posted: Jan 05, 2014 08:01 PM EST
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Statistics show that obesity rates have doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents within the last 30 years. Many continue to take on healthier lifestyle choices in order to prevent the spread of the epidemic. (Photo : Reuters)

Most of us are probably still working on our new years resolutions, with it being just a few days into 2014. And if you're anything like the majority of the population, shedding a few pounds is probably one of your new goals.

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Fortunately, a recent study by Cornell University researchers in New York shows that if you want to lose some weight, adding a tray to your meal routine might help out.

The researchers discovered that people who use a tray when visiting a cafeteria are less likely to waste calories on dessert and more likely to pick up healthier choices. In fact, according to Colorado Newsday, the study authors found that participants were more likely to pick up a salad as a main course as well as a pudding because the tray enables them to pick more choices and waste less food.

For those without a tray, they are forced to leave something behind, according to various news organizations. For participants involved without a tray, they were more inclined to take a pudding while healthier choices behind. Researchers believe this may be because hands alone can only carry so many items. This also often caused participants without a tray to carry more than one surviving size of an item than recommended. 

The researchers studied a university cafeteria which alternated between using trays and not having any available during lunch time.

Study results showed that 18 percent fewer students took salad when no trays were available. Without trays, for instant, it seems that more of the students were more likely to pick unhealthy items-such as pudding-instead of both options, when the trays were available. They were also more likely to pick more of the pudding when the trays were not available.

Does your school or work environment have trays and do you think it influences how much you eat and the choices you make? Share in the comments below. 

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