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Food Portions and Obesity
Food Serving Sizes Linked to Obesity
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Food Portions & Obesity

Sizes of food portion are linked to obesity, researchers say. According to a new food-weight study, the average size of the American meal has been growing steadily over the past two decades.

From the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, food portions in America grew by around 60 percent, and diets contained more unhealthy, salty foods, University of North Carolina researchers said.

Over two decades, the study found: the average portion size of salty snacks grew by 60 percent, or 93 calories, to 1.6 ounces; soft drink sizes expanded 50 percent, or 49 calories, to 19.9 fluid ounces; hamburger portions grew by 23 percent, or 97 calories, to 7 ounces and French fry portions grew by 16 percent, or 68 calories, to 3.6 ounces. Only pizza portions remained about the same at 476 calories in 6.1 ounces.

The findings were based on an analysis of the food intake of more than 63,000 individuals aged two and older compiled in three national surveys conducted in 1977, 1989, and 1996.

When combined with less physical activity than in decades past, bigger portions and unhealthier diets translate into greater risks for overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other health threats.

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