The new food “pyramid” was unveiled this past Thursday. It is now in a much simpler form – a plate. What I didn’t find defined at the ChooseMyPlate website is the plate size. (photo credit)
So I googled “standard dinner plate size.” Here is the answer:
It can be helpful to know the manufacturers intended use for an item, but it is important to remember that you can use the item in whatever way that works for you!
Dinner plate 10 to 10 3/4"
Luncheon plate 9 to 9 1/2"
Salad plate 8 to 8 3/4"
Bread and butter plate 5 to 7 3/4" (usually about 6")
When found, dessert plates are generally somewhere between salad plates and bread and butter plates in size. Dessert plates are not common, so the salad plate doubles as a dessert plate in most patterns.
Another size that you might see in a pattern is one that is larger than a dinner plate. These are frequently call buffet plates, service plates or chargers and are usually 11" to 12" in diameter.
Chris Maddera makes this point in his essay: The Psychology of Dinner Plates (bold emphasis is mine)
….the size of our dinner plates was a major contributing factor of Americans becoming overweight.
Here’s the way it works: the diameter of a typical American dinner plate is 11 inches; the diameter of a typical European dinner plate is 9 inches. r2 shows that the 2-inch difference amounts to the 11-inch plate having 50% more surface area than the 9-inch plate. If, like most people, you fill your plate, you’re putting 50% more food on it than a person with the 9-inch plate.
This means we’re eating 50% more food, since we usually eat whatever is on our plates. Or, to look at it differently, we feel full when our plate is empty.
By the way, some restaurants use 13-inch plates, which means it’s twice as big as the 9-inch plate.
Size of the plate matters as does the choice of food we put on it. Don’t use the larger plates for your children or if you are a petite female. Consider not covering up the entire surface area.
And don’t forget to get up and move – walk, swim, dance, bowl, etc.