Saturday, January 5, 2019

Portion Size Distortion

Ballooning portion sizes are considered a major player in the startling rise in obesity rates in recent decades, but current research points to evidence that we can turn this around.

A study in the April edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that exposure to smaller portions can recalibrate people's perception of how much is enough. In the first of the experiments, volunteers randomly ate either larger (440 calorie) or smaller (220 calorie) portions of the same quiche-and-salad meal. In the second experiment, a day later, volunteers could eat as much of that same food as they pleased. A week later, they were asked about their portion size preferences.

The scientists found that eating a smaller portion of food during the first experiment led to people consuming less of the food the next day. They also showed a tendency to feel satisfied with smaller portions a week later. The findings suggest that reducing portion sizes for packages and restaurant food could lead us to consider these new sizes "normal" and, in turn, help put the brakes on excess consumption.

Do you find that your portion sizes increase over the winter in response to some larger holiday dinners?

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