Food Portion Sizes Keep Growing
Images from Divine Caroline
PSFK picks up an interesting post about how food portions, both in restaurants and at home, have increased over the last twenty years. While a dietitian will tell you that a portion of meat shouldn't be larger than a deck of cards, most servings now are more like the size of a paperback book.
It is the inevitable result the corn-based industrial food system; while other costs, like staff and real estate were increasing, food costs were stable or decreasing so you just made things bigger, added another layer to the whopper. Divine Caroline notes that " large quantities of cheap food have distorted our perceptions of what a typical meal is supposed to look like."
Divine Caroline writes:
According to a 2007 paper published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, portion sizes offered by fast food chains are two to five times larger than when first introduced. When McDonald's first started in 1955, its only hamburger weighed around 1.6 ounces; now, the largest hamburger patty weighs 8 ounces, an increase of 500 percent. And while a Big Mac used to be considered big, it's on the smaller side of many burger options. At Burger King, you can get the Triple Whopper; at Ruby Tuesday's there's the Colossal Burger; and Carl's Junior has the Western Bacon Six Dollar Burger.
It is not only in restaurants, but affecting us at home.
Because portions are now so large, it's hard to understand what a "serving size" is supposed to be. Today's bagel counts for three servings of bread, but many of us would consider it one serving. Larger sizes at restaurants have also contributed to larger sizes when eating at home. A study comparing eating habits today with twenty years ago found that participants poured themselves about 20 percent more cornflakes and 30 percent more milk than twenty years ago.
Perhaps instead of meatless Mondays or going vegetarian, a first step to reducing our meat consumption might be to simply go back to the portion sizes we used to eat. That might cut meat consumption in half right off the top, making us healthier at the same time.