We have developed the more is better mentality in this country especially when it comes to food portions. Just look at these statistics from 30 years ago.
|2 slices of pizza||500||2 slices of pizza||850|
|1 cup of coffee, 8 ounces||45||1 Grande Cafe Mocha,16 ounces||330|
|Bagel, 3 inch diameter||140||Bagel, 5-6 inch diameter||350|
|Cheese burger,||333||Cheese burger||590|
|Soda, 8 ounce bottle||97||Soda, 20 ounce bottle||242|
Adapted from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Don’t think those extra 350 calories in pizza matter? Remember it takes 3,500 additional calories to gain 1 pound of body weight. Let’s say we went back in time gave the average person in 1970 the 2008 version of the food items found on this table. The person in 1970 would be digesting a whopping 1,607 additional daily calories! That would be a 3.2 lb increase in just 7 days! Of course there are no time machines, but I think you get the point. Along with the portion sizes our serving utensils have gotten bigger as well. In the 1990’s the standard dinner plate increased from 10 to 12 inches. In a study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine, investigators found that when people were given larger than normal bowls and spoons they actually served themselves larger portions and finished the portions as well. The more is better principal is also being applied to how we view the pricing of food as well. A 32 ounce Big Gulp is 99 cents and 388 calories. For only 20 cents more you can get the Double Big Gulp for 64 ounces at $1.19. That’s double the amount calories for only 20 cents. People are getting exactly what they are paying for: more fat around their Big Gulps!
“Success is a journey, not a destination.”- Ben Sweetland
First published in 2007