A new study shows that young adults are serving up significantly larger portion sizes for themselves than they did 20 years ago, and this portion distortion may contribute to the current obesity epidemic.
As reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, study participants chose significantly larger portions of cornflakes, milk on cereal, orange juice, and fruit salad than did their counterparts from a similar study conducted back in 1984. Conversely, they chose smaller portions of sugar and salad dressing than their counterparts.
Researchers suggest that the growth in portion sizes offered at grocery stores and restaurants has distorted how people view the appropriate amount of food to eat per serving. Take a serving of orange juice for example, a standard portion size, as found on grocery store carton labels, is eight ounces, or half a cup. Yet people can now buy containers of orange juice labeled as "single-serving" size which actually contain 2.2 cups of orange juice. This is a size that wasn’t available 20 years ago.
With the growth in portion sizes of ready-to-serve foods as well as restaurant servings over the past two decades, people have followed suit when it comes time to dish up their own helping of food. The report concludes that getting portion size under control and displaying more prominently the number of actual servings on single-serving containers could help combat the growing diet-related problems in this country.
SOURCE: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2006.
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