10 Reasons to Abolish the Clean Plate Club

American kids are taught to clean their plates. “There are children starving in Africa”, is the mantra  they hear repeated throughout their young lives. So, one may wonder, how does stuffing my face here in Peoria help end world hunger? The truth is, it’s time to put that idea to bed, and we’ll give you ten reasons why. Here then, are 10 reasons to abolish the Clean Plate Club:

  1. The campaign began during war time, when food was a commodity that Americans feared would be used up if not rationed wisely.
  2. A compulsion to clean your plate, even after you’re full, encourages obesity and gluttony.
  3. Nutritionists have shown that smaller meals, eaten more frequently, are a healthier option. We should start a Smaller Plate Club instead.
  4. Portion sizes, especially in restaurants are larger than they were when this campaign was introduced. Cleaning your plate these days almost always means an intake of far more calories than the average person needs.
  5. It’s really just an eating disorder, with patriotic roots. There’s no need today to polish off everything in front of us, just to prevent waste. It’s just as wasteful to eat too much as it is to throw away what you can’t eat.
  6. Overeating can lead to more serious health issues, including diabetes and heart disease.
  7. There is no longer a shortage in our food supply, as was the case when the Clean Plate Club was established after the Great Depression.
  8. If anything, the idea of cleaning our plates unnecessarily depletes our food supply, rather than preserving it.
  9. Moving away from the clean plate theory would help children to develop self-control, and to understand the concept of moderation.
  10. It would be better to spread the wealth of food to the needy than to gorge ourselves with large portions. We’re not helping anyone by telling our children to eat enough food for two people because our neighbors are starving.
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