Why Are Americans Obese? Serving Sizes Are Huge (Infographic)

Portion distortion takes over the average diet
Staff Writer

If eating larger portions doesn't make us feel more satiated (and even sometimes makes us feel sick), why do we do it?  Maybe we've just gotten used to eating too much.

In the United States, portion size has skyrocketed, and large servings have become the norm. When you eat out, even salads are now calorie-laden—larger than ever, and filled with cheese, dried fruits and other less-than-healthy ingredients.  In stores,  the size of sodas grew from an average 13.1 ounces in 1977 to 19.9 ounces in 1996.  And that was 16 years ago. 

We see the change reflected in obesity rates. In 2012, 26.2 percent of Americans were considered obese—that is, they had a body mass index of 30 or higher. This is up from around 15 percent in 1980.

The infographic below reboots the concept of proper portion size. It’s easy to forget, for instance, that a serving of cheese should be the size of a nine-volt battery or that a meat serving should be the size of a deck of cards.

Click on the infographic below to see a larger version.

H/T Upworthy.


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