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Get the Skinny on Today’s Super-sized Food Portions

Bigger isn’t always better. Over the last 20 years, food portions have changed—and not necessarily in a healthy way.

Today, many restaurant portions are “super-sized,” and provide enough calories to feed two people in one sitting. Food makers also package foods in larger sizes in order to sell more. Portion control is increasingly more important to maintaining a healthy waistline and weight.

The top offenders:

1. Bagels

Twenty years ago, a standard bagel was three inches wide and contained 140 calories. Today, the average bagel is six inches wide, and contains 350 calories. 

2. Cheeseburgers

 Two decades ago, most cheeseburgers contained about 333 calories. Today, they pack a whopping 590 calories.

3. Spaghetti and meatballs

 A plate of spaghetti and meatballs (one cup of pasta with sauce and three meatballs) used to average about 500 calories. Today, that portion is typically doubled, and weighs in at 1,025 calories.

4. French fries

In decades past, the typical serving of French fries was about 2.4 ounces and 210 calories. Today, many restaurants are dishing out almost seven ounces of fries at 610 calories a pop.

How can you eat smaller portions?

  • Try splitting an entrée or large salad with a friend when you go out to lunch.
  • If you order pizza, don’t reach for that extra slice.
  • When you go to the movies, split your snacks with your friends instead of doubling or tripling up on munchies. 

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Published on: March 10, 2016