Serving Sizes, Never Enough

For me, one of the most affecting scenes from Supersize Me was the comparison of food and drink sizes “then and now” (I had to look away during the surgery scenes. that was a bit too affecting. I will never be a doctor). For those that never saw the movie, Morgan Spurlock compared the sizes of drinks, burgers and other restaurant offerings from now and several years ago. The contrast was both startling and eye opening.

Pizza Comparison

Have you ever wondered how serving sizes are determined? Mental Floss answers that question today along with providing a great summary of some analysis conducted by Divine Caroline on how how serving sizes have changed over the years. From the article:

Well, nationwide food consumption surveys do, but also the NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). So if you’re wondering why a serving of ice cream is usually only a ½-cup (on their Web site the NHLBI says no more than the size of half a baseball), it’s because that’s what they’ve determined is the right amount to stay healthy. Meanwhile, we all know how many baseballs Baskin Robbins scoops into their hot fudge sundaes–enough to fill a small bathtub, right?

I know I’ve never been satisfied with a measly half cup of ice cream (have you seen those really really small ice cream containers sold at the grocery store now? who buys those?). What’s amazing is how dramatic the serving size growth has been. Every comparison given has an increase of at least 50%; most have more than doubled. The photos really drive the point home. Check it out, and think about that next time you’re at your local Cold Stone or getting a caffeine fix. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence; but the key is moderation.

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