For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/
Over 60% of the UK adult population is currently overweight or obese, and we all have a responsibility to reduce that statistic including fast food outlets, schools, supermarkets, cafes and food manufacturers
The British Nutrition Foundation thinks one way to tackle this epidemic is to raise awareness about portion sizes and portion control
Research has shown that when people are presented with larger portion sizes, they will eat more and most people underestimate how many calories they consume each day by as much as 25%.
Since the 1980s, typical servings have increased dramatically: a bag of crisps has grown from 25g to 40g. ‘Grab’ bags have 50% more than standard bags – a bag of Walker’s crisps, for example, now contains 55g – that’s 260 calories and 15g of fat, compared to 130 cals and 8g of fat in 25g.
Soft drinks are still sold in 330ml cans (139 cals for a can of Coke), but 500ml bottles of are just as popular. Thats 210 calories and 54g or 13½ teaspoons of sugar in a bottle of Coke.
King-size and pocket pack chocolate bars are up to twice the size of regular bars – a Mars Big One has 100 calories more than a regular bar, while a King-Sized Snickers has 200 extra calories than the regular version. There are now even 1 and a half bars of chocolate and Bounty bars are available in triple packs!
Double and triple burgers (with all the extras) are available from every burger chain. If you double-up your cheeseburger in McDonald’s, for example, you increase your calories from 300 to 440, and your fat intake from 11.5g to 23 g. Pasta servings and nearly five times bigger than they were 20 years ago.
Ready meals have also ballooned over the past 15 years with products such as curry, cottage pies, pasta dishes and casseroles now weighing on average 400g nearly twice the size they were in the 1990’s.
You’re not even safe in the local coffee shop – Your morning caffeine fix in the 50s would be 45 calories. Nowadays, a 450ml takeout coffee with mocha syrup would be 350 calories.
And how many times are you asked if you want to ‘go large’?
Even the standard dinner plate used in most restaurants and homes has increased from 10 to 12 inches!
Recent research has revealed that smaller plates, cups, glasses, bowls and cutlexycould reduce overall calorie intake by up to 16 per cent.
If its good enough for Lord Sugar!
Today I chatted to BBC radio Nottingham DJ Mark Dennison about portion control. This is the 7 minute interview
I was also interviewed by Gem 106 radio for their hourly news slot, this is one of my 40 second snippets
This process of eating larger amounts is called portion distortion and it’s making us fat! The more we eat the more calories we consume
Are you shocked by this, did you have any idea that food portion sizes have been on the increase?
To put it in to context eating just 200 extra calories a day over a year can mean a weight gain of over a stone (6.3 Kg)
So what is a correct portion size?
- A 75g serving of meat, poultry or fish is the same size as the palm of your hand
- A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
- Keep portions of cheese to 25g – around the same size as a matchbox
- A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
- A serving of rice is half a teacup (75g uncooked weight)
- A serving of vegetables is about 80g
- A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.
A useful guide is to use your hand as a visual template:
For more information about the increase in portion size please click on this link to the Food Standards Agency, where you can download useful guides. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/find-your-balance/portionwise.html