“…Over the last 20 years, the typical diet in North America has changed dramatically–in both quantity and quality of food intake.
How did this happen? While there are many reasons, processed food being more accessible is significant. There are so many fast food options that they’re competing against each other–and a way to beat the competition is to increase portion sizes.
In addition to this, processed food has become cheaper and easier to get our hands on than it was in the 70s or 80s. If you combine this with our desire to get the most bang for our buck it all adds up. Larger portions for the least amount of money has become a way of life.
Here is a great example from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that illustrates the difference between today’s meals and 20 years ago:
- Breakfast: A bagel (6 inches in diameter) and a 16-ounce coffee with sugar and milk
- Lunch: Two pieces of pepperoni pizza and a 20-ounce soda
- Dinner: Chicken caesar salad and a 20-ounce soda
You would consume 1,595 more calories than if you had the same foods at typical portions served 20 years ago. If consumed daily, the larger portions could amount to more than 500,000 extra calories per year!
Now that you know about portion distortion here are some tips to make sure you’re eating smart and healthy:
- When eating out, get a to-go box and take home half the meal
- When plating food make half the plate vegetables. The other half should be 2/3 protein and 1/3 carbs
- When eating at home, try to buy fresh, local produce in season
- Stay away from processed foods as much as possible…”
To read the full article, click here.