Bigger Portions Lead to Bigger Waists

Fast food restaurants became all the rage in the early 1970’s, as did eating out as a regular part of the weekly diet. In an effort to lure more customers, fast food chains and restaurants started marketing campaigns that appealed to a consumer’s desire for better value; they began offering larger sized portions. Ocala, Florida, is no exception with myriad fast food and sit-down restaurants from which to choose.

Medical weight loss plans are stymied by the over-abundance of food served on a plate. Despite our awareness of huge portion sizes, people still frequent establishments who lure consumers with promises of huge portions, double sized drinks and desserts with enough calories to last a week.

People have become accustomed to seeing huge portions delivered to them while dining out and have transferred this perception to a “normal” entrée size, and are consuming these huge portions while at home. It is a well known fact that women are consuming an average 300 calories per day more now than they were in 1971, and men eat 168 more calories. That’s the equivalent of a modest, healthy meal.

Portion sizes have so grossly expanded that people are consuming way more calories and fat than they used to, and the level of exercise has generally decreased. All this, of course, leads directly to the middle line, the one around our waists, to be exact.

Public perception needs to change; at least 65 percent of all Americans are overweight, and more and more children are following in the footsteps of their parents and eating huge meals. Awareness campaigns are slowly trying to shift portion sizes back to realistic amounts, but they progresses slowly. In the meantime, next time you dine out, divide your food in half and take half home for dinner the next day. It’s a good start toward weight loss and realistic portion size.