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Real Cost of Upsizing
Photo: Zando Escultura
Bigger portion sizes make you eat more, even if you think the food tastes terrible, according to a new study from Cornell University. Portion size is now thought to be as influential as taste in determining whether we overeat. This study found that moviegoers given large buckets of popcorn ate 34 percent more than those given a medium-sized container. Yet 77 percent thought they would eat the same amount regardless of the container size.

So while people appreciate that portion size influences the amount of food others consume, they think they’ll not be affected.

Upsizing Fuels Weight Gain
Watching portion size is a key factor to help people lose and maintain a lower weight. Yet one study of U.S. fast food restaurants showed that portion sizes have increased by up to 62 percent over a 20 year period!

By upsizing from small to large fries or from a medium to large muffin, for example, you get approximately 200 calories more, and these extra calories do add up.

It is now recognized that consuming simply 100 calories more per day than what your body needs is the chief culprit in the alarming trend toward obesity!

Preventing Portion Distortion When Eating Out:
* Order the entrée-sized meal
* Share a main meal with a friend
* Order mineral water or herbal/fruit teas and small soda drinks/juices
* Share your dessert with a friend
* Order the small-size snack foods and don’t supersize
* Read food labels and check the portion size recommended
* Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants.

At home:
* Prepare  precise amounts of food
* Use smaller plates and bowls
* Fill at least half of your plate with salad or steamed vegetables
* Carefully measure portions of rice, potato, or other carbohydrates
* If you eat meat, limit the serving to the size of a pack of cards
* Freeze leftovers in single-portion containers, e.g., 2 cups.

For a visual illustration of portion distortion, check out The National Heart Lung Blood Institute quiz: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion

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By Sue Radd. Reprinted with permission from Signs of the Times, May 2015. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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