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Food Portion Size: Then and Now

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Food Portion Size: Then and Now

By Liz Monte, DivineCaroline

Over the past few decades, portion sizes of everything from muffins to sandwiches have grown considerably. Unfortunately, America’s waistbands have reacted accordingly. In the 1970s, around 47 percent of Americans were overweight or obese; now 66 percent of us are. In addition, the number of borderline obese people has doubled, from 15 percent of our population to 30 percent.

While increased sizes haven’t been the sole contributor to our obesity epidemic, large quantities of cheap food have distorted our perceptions of what a typical meal is supposed to look like. These portion comparisons, adapted from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Portion Distortion Quiz, give a representation of what sizes used to be compared to what they are today.

Two Slices of Pizza
Twenty years ago: 500 calories
Today: 850 calories

Those extra 350 calories, if eaten a two times a month, would put on two extra pounds a year, or forty pounds in the next two decades.

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health

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2:49PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012


10:49PM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

I am in my late fifties and I remember when we were children our dinner plate sizes were definitely smaller than they are today. Big is not necessarily better. Also back then we exercised more. In my family we always walked to school, friends places etc.

6:33AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Thank you

11:58AM PDT on May 27, 2011

Thanks, but you can still get the old sizes, just nobody wants them (except me).

5:07PM PDT on May 26, 2011

Amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing Good Article.

3:49AM PDT on Apr 16, 2010

We got to open our eyes and be cautious about this!
thank you for the article!

7:00AM PST on Mar 9, 2010


3:01PM PST on Mar 8, 2010

"Cup of Coffee

Twenty years ago: Coffee with milk and sugar, 8 ounces, 330 calories
Today: Grande cafe mocha with whip, 2-percent milk, 16 ounces, 45 calories"

I think someone meant to type 450.

10:50AM PST on Mar 8, 2010

Did your aluminum cap fall off? LOL That's the most ridiculous thing I've read in a long time. Wooo---a food conspiracy. LOL
Humans have always eaten a lot of fatty foods ever since we discovered meat and how to make pies...the difference is, these days the consumers are 1)too lazy to cook their own food, 2) eat too much, 3) try to blame everyone else for their own problems.

As for the chemicals in food, most are REQUIRED by the government to prevent spoilage and to enhance flavor.

9:08AM PST on Mar 8, 2010

I am very selective what I order when I go out to eat and almost always the portions are much larger than I would consume, so I always have some to go. I eat mostly at home therefore I know what I put into my food.
This is warfare against us as I see it, as the Corporations make money off the food, then they make money off of the places to try and loose weight, the pharmacuticals for pills to loose weight, and the health industry when people develop medical problems for being overweight. Most of the Elites, at the top of the Food Chain have stock in all of this, including the Funeral a win win for them....a loose loose for you, unless you avoid their traps.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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