Guys, any girl that tells you size doesn’t matter, they’re lying! Now, now, get your head out of the gutter, I am talking about portion control people, geez! With restaurants and food manufacturers increasing portion sizes by epic proportions, it is difficult for our bodies to decipher how much food our body really needs and how much is too much (or in many cases way WAY too much).
The bulging portion sizes is one of many indications that society has changed not just the way we eat and look, but also how we view and appreciate food. The care that used to go into cooking homemade meals is now replaced with drive through meals in a bag. It seems like nowadays you could throw a rock on any corner of the city and hit at least one (if not several) fast food restaurants. Take a look at some examples of how portion sizes have increase in the last 20 years:
A cup of coffee:
An 8 oz cup used to be the average size of a cup of coffee, about 45 calories with milk and sugar. Fast forward 20 years. Starbucks recently announced they will soon unveil their largest size yet, the Trenta, a 31 oz cup (if you can even call it that…) of coffee. That is 916 millimeters worth of liquid. The average adult stomach is equipped to handle about 900 millimeters. Depending on what you order, this new gulp-a-saurus will set you back hundreds of additional calories.
In the 90s, the average size of a movie popcorn (most often split between two) was about 5 cups and 250 or so calories. Today’s movie goers typically order a tub of popcorn lathered in oil, soaked in butter and drenched in salt. This tub-o-lard can bring the grand total upwards of 1,200 calories, which may or may not be split with a patron.
Twenty years ago people drank pop out of a 12 oz can. Now, 20 oz plastic bottles are becoming the norm and to-go options are offered in 32 oz, 44 oz, and whopping 64 oz cups. With the price only a few cents higher for a larger cup, the human ability to reason instinctively gravitates towards getting more bang-for-our-buck, inevitably resulting in the consumption of 800 or more additional calories. Car manufacturers are having to redesign cup holders in order to accommodate the ever-growing size of our soda cups.
What the experts say….
The Food and Drug Administration, recommends what the proper intake of calories, fat, salt and other dietary elements is necessary per day to maintain satisfactory health and nutrition. The FDA recommends that the average adult eat around 2,000 calories per day. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, they suggest keeping saturated fat intake at less than 20 g per day, total fat intake at less than 65 g per day, and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol and 2400 mg sodium per day. Experts say the abundant growth in our daily food intake is having a devastating impact on our national health care system.
We now have the difficult (if not impossible) task of re-learning what the appropriate amount of food is and what it looks like. The problem is we have become so accustomed to this life of gluttony that scaling back will be a shock to our system. Imagine ordering a pizza and when it arrives you open it up to see it is only 1/3 of the size we are used to, there is no doubt we will feel cheated. What happens when all of the double whoppers with cheese are taken off the menu due to a government regulation on caloric content of food? Mayhem, that’s what happens.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think the government should intervene or do you believe it is a personal choice and the government has no right to regulate what food we can and cannot eat?