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Waistlines Growing with Portion Sizes

A new study has revealed that most people are eating and drinking more today at each meal without even being aware of it. In fact even the extra orange juice we consume could add five pounds a year.//

Researchers at Rutgers came up with the idea of replicating a portion-size study from 20 years ago where in people were asked to serve themselves a "typical portion" of meal items from a buffet table. The responses of 177 young adults revealed the following results:

-- Orange juice portions today were 40 percent or 50 calories larger that would add five pounds a year if consumed daily.

-- These young adults put 20 percent more cornflakes and about 30 percent more milk in their bowls.

-- It was found that only around 30 percent of the lunch and dinner portions were within 25 percent of the size from two decades years ago -- in other words, most people are eating much more.

Study co-author Carol Byrd-Bredbenner said, "With portions being distorted to this degree, it's no surprise that people's waistlines are expanding."

Although some down-sizing was evidenced as in less dressing on their salad, apparently trying to cut back on the fat that can make even a healthy item rendered unfit.

Jaime Schwartz, who worked on the study as a grad student said, 'Our society wants the 'bang for our buck' and when portions are served to us that we think are small we feel short-changed.'

'But we need to start 'undistorting' what we perceive to be a typical portion and begin to listen to our stomachs, not our eyes, to determine when to put the fork down.'

The study has been published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.


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