Size Matters: Tips for keeping portion sizes in check

CDC The New (Ab)normal

It’s no secret that Americans are getting bigger. Today, the average person is 26 pounds heavier than the average person in 1950 and one-third of children in the US are now overweight or obese!

To shed light on America’s weight gain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a graphic illustrating how portion sizes have ballooned over the years. As you can see in the graphic above, many restaurant meals have quadrupled in size over the past 60 years! Researchers believe America’s weight gain can be partially blamed on this steady increase in portion sizes, because bigger portions make it easier to unintentionally consume more calories.

Take control over portion sizes and help your family maintain a healthy weight over time. Follow the tips below to keep portion sizes in check

  • Measure what you eat. Measure how many cups of cereal your bowl holds and compare that to how many cups of cereal are in a serving according to the box’s nutrition facts panel. You many be eating several servings without realizing.
  • Switch to smaller plates and bowls at home. One cup of food on a small plate looks like more than the same cup of food on a large plate.
  • Always serve food in a bowl or on a plate, rather than eating right out the bag or box.
  • Control hunger. Chop fresh veggies or fruit to snack on while cooking so that you’re not starving when you sit down to eat.
  • Tune out distractions. Watching TV or surfing the Internet can lead to mindless eating. Turn off electronics when it’s time to eat so that you can enjoy your food and stop eating when you’re full.
  • Divide and conquer. When you eat out, divide your meal in half. Ask your server to pack it up before you dig in. (You’ll get two meals for the price of one!)

For more ways to consume healthy portion sizes, visit the MyPlate website and the Centers for Disease Control. Remember that a healthy diet can include all foods in moderation.

Share what your family is doing to keep portion sizes in check in the comments section below!

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