The Growth of American Food Portions

It’s no secret that waistlines and food portions have been ballooning across America, the land of the free and home of the artery clogging super-sized value menu. The last few decades have seen a massive shift in the thinking of American consumers, restaurants, fast-food chains and food manufacturers. The emphasis has changed into giving the consumer more food for less money; hasn’t anyone noticed that a small soda has turned into a medium, a medium into a large, and so on? This focus on more for less doesn’t just stop at out-of-home options either: packaged food companies are making portions larger, plates are getting bigger, and we’re so surrounded by this growth that we don’t know how much we really need to eat.

Why is eating more a problem? Because the obesity prevalence in the US has been growing steadily since the 60s; in the US, obesity has grown from 14% in 1960, to 35% in 2005. A study by the American Medical Association has shown that the worst offenders are packaged foods like salty snacks, fruit juice drinks, and soft drinks. Manufacturers of these packaged goods are among the top culprits making us fat.

There is one question that needs to be answered: Do bigger portions really make us eat more? Absolutely. Short-term studies show subjects consumed 30% more food when given a larger portion (see the pizza example below), and the problem with that is, even though people are eating more, they are feeling 0% fuller, and regularly eating the larger portion after a year will make someone 8.3 pounds fatter. Here, we take a closer look at how portions have grown over the years, and how we can regain control.

Be sure to check out Massive Health’s App: The Eatery, in the iTunes App store here.

Click here or the image below for a full sized view:

via: Massive Health

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