Archive for September, 2014

Serving Size vs. Typical Portion

September 25, 2014

I got to thinking the other day about the good ol’ serving size – Where does it come from and who determines how much we “should” and “should not” eat? Ever put one serving of cereal in a bowl? It kinda disappears! Check out the back of a jar of peanut butter — I don’t know about you but I eat mine right out of the jar with a spoon and 2tbsp goes quickly! Does serving size = the amount we have to eat in a sitting? I decided to do a little research on how the serving size for specific foods gets determined.

Well, the long and short of it all is — the FDA created standard serving sizes in the early 1990’s to help consumers evaluate their eating habits with some consistency amongst like foods.  For instance, a serving of cereal is the same size regardless of the type of cereal. They determined these based on what people actually ate via self-reported surveys in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s.  Hmmm…

Serving size is only one piece of the discussion.  What about serving size vs. package size??  As serving sizes stay the same, the packaging experienced quite a bit of growth over the years.

Enter two things with “Serving Size” —

Food for Thought #1:  If package holds 2-3 servings, do we measure out one serving and just stop there?? (I know I don’t )  Think soda, “small” bag of chips, candy bar, even the size of an apple (especially the ones sold at Harris Teeter) …

Food for Thought #2:  If one serving is 3/4 cup and you are still hungry, does that mean we can only eat one serving?  Sometimes we focus too much on serving size and forget about listening to our bodies!

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