Cut a serving down to size
It's not always what you eat but how much that can hurt your waistline
Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 10:58 p.m.
Value-size. Super-size. Biggie.
Big portions, big people.
Twenty years ago, a serving of french fries was about a third the size served now. Spaghetti? Half the size. From the innocuous turkey sandwich to jumbo sweetened coffee drinks and bagels on steroids, so many foods have gotten bigger. So have our waistlines.
The culprit? Portion distortion. Normal sizes look puny; super-size looks about right. And when given more food, most people eat more, rather than stopping when they feel full. Adults take in about 13 percent more calories than they did three decades ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What is a normal portion?
We've put together a visual guide of what passes for normal and what the right size really is. The smaller portions provide the daily calorie requirement for a sedentary woman in her 30s or 40s. Sedentary men that age can add 400 calories a day. In your 20s? Add another 200 calories. Subtract 200 calories daily if you're 50 or older.
What we're showing isn't an ideal diet - it's far too high in saturated fat, added sugar and refined grains, and far too low in fruits and vegetables. But it's typical of what many Americans eat during the day, and of the foods commonly available in restaurants and vending machines.
Even eating these kinds of foods, it's possible to keep calories under control.
Tips on sizing
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