Portions and serving sizes have inflated dramatically since the 1980’s. Even cookbooks suggest larger portion sizes than in the past: In a 1960s version of “The Joy of Cooking,” a brownie recipe was considered to serve 30, but now the exact same recipe serves only 16 brownies!
The lure of a better value has drawn us in to buying more and bigger on a regular basis, and this has had catastrophic effects on the U.S. population’s waistlines.
One cup of pasta has almost 200 calories, which used to be a typical restaurant serving. Now some restaurants serve three cups of pasta for an entree, racking up nearly 600 calories without sauce. Bagels used to be 2 to 3 ounces, or about 200 calories. Today they’re 5 to 6 ounces, which is more than 400 calories! A half-ounce cookie is about 50 or 60 calories. But some jumbo cookies are now 4 ounces (about the diameter of a CD) and pack in as many as 400 to 500 calories!
Bigger portions mean we eat more than we need. When a larger portion is placed in front of us, we tend to eat 30% to 50% more! Most often, we don’t even realize that we are eating more. In recent experiments:
Moviegoers ate 61% more popcorn when given the larger container than they did with a small size.
Snackers poured about twice as many M&Ms from a jumbo bag (103) than they did when given a smaller package.
When cooking, people poured 4.3 ounces of oil from a 32-ounce bottle, but only 3.5 ounces from a 16-ounce bottle.