How Portion Sizes Have Changed Over The Years

By Subodh / January 6, 2016

Have you ever thought how much are you eating daily? Are you eating the same muffins that you used to eat as a child? Well, I meant in terms of its size. The answer is a no.

From sandwiches to muffins and from bagels to your favorite coke, the portion sizes of every edible stuff has witnessed a mammoth growth. Studies reveal that the number of obese people has doubled in the past two decades.

Before revealing the impacts of such huge portion sizes on the population and how you can control the same, here are some interesting facts. This is a list of some of the most popular snacks you eat and a comparison between their portion sizes, then and now. Check out!

Portion Sizes

Food Item Portion Size 20 years ago   Portion Size Now
Bagel 3 inch, 140 calories  6 inch, 350 calories
Pizza, 2 slices 500 calories  850 calories
Cheeseburgers 333 calories  590 calories
McDonald’s Hamburger 1.6 ounce (in 1955)  8 ounces
Muffin 1.5 ounce, 210 calories  4 ounces, 500 calories
French Fries 2.4 ounces, 210 calories  6.9 ounces, 700 calories
Soda 6.5 ounces, 85 calories  20 ounces, 250 calories

Are these the actual portion sizes one should be eating? No, all of us are eating almost thrice of what we should be eating. According to the values put forward by the USDA, a moderately active female should intake about 2,000 calories while the number is 2,400 for a male. This should be divided equally across 3 to 4 meals, which actually underlines the importance of exercising portion control.

How Have Increased Portion Sizes Affected Us?

According to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people, irrespective of the caste, creed, and race, dieters and non-dieters, consumed more food when the portion size is increased.

The larger the portion sizes are, the more the body weight is. Your body fails to process the excess food you give it due to which it gets stored in the body as fat. When your body weight increases uncontrollably, you are prone to develop a wide array of health issues, including cholesterol, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, hypertension, and what not.

wipe-up-a-plate

How To Combat Increased Portions

There had been a time when little children were advised never to leave food on their plate. This concept makes sense if there is a lack of food. But, in today’s society, food is found in abundance. You need not stuff yourself with all that you see. So, it is time to leave behind you those beliefs. Excessive eating could lead to eating disorders and illnesses later. So, how can you manage it? Here are some tips that you could actually try!

1. Serve Less Quantity of Food

One of the best ways you can manage this is to serve less. You could always opt for that second serving if you feel hungry. Never overload your plate, only to regret later. It is okay to stop eating when you feel full. When you follow this principle, you will be able to teach your kids how it feels to be full.

2. Use Smaller Plates

Use smaller plates to eat your meals as you would have lesser space to fill up. You could also use smaller glasses and bowls, while ensuring that you are not filling up to the brim.

3. Load On Veggies

Include more veggies and salads in your diet to cut down those ridiculous portion sizes. Eating more veggies would help you feel fuller quicker and retain that sense of fullness for a longer time too.

4. Ensure That You Are Eating Protein

Protein rich diet is the best way to cut down the portion size. Actually it has been proven that people who eat foods rich in protein eat smaller portions.

[ Read: How Much Protein Do We Actually Need? ]

Cut down the huge portion sizes. Be mindful of what you eat. Educate yourself. Stick to the serving portions. Your body will love and thank you!

Have you noticed the increase or decrease in portions over the years?  Share your views in comments