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Portion Size Matters

Posted by Florian Hosner on

How we get cheated by the food industry

How much do I eat? It mainly depends on how much is on my plate. Well who takes this decision then? Is it me? Really? Well let's have a closer look. 

There is a very interesting article that was published in the Guardian just this year. The name of the article tells a story: "Our gigantic problem with portions: Why we are eating too much?" The writers of the article found that between 1996 and 2016 there was a significant increase in serving size for many different types of food. 

Back in 1996 an average muffin was 85g. Today the typical serving size is 130g. This is just one of many examples. How comes? Did we get hungrier? Obviously the food industry got hungrier. We are addicted to sugar! They feed us with the stuff all day long and they want us to consume. I always need to think about the song of Rodriguez when I think about this topic:

Sugar man, won't you hurry
Cause I'm tired of these scenes
For a blue coin won't you bring back
All those colours to my dreams 

 

We are hooked on sugar guys! They run us on a short leash.

Supporters of the idea of a free mind may say: "Well it is your decision how much you eat of that muffin." Well, may I ask those faithful minds: "Have you ever cut a piece from a muffin and kept the rest for later?" Don't lie to me now! A muffin is a single shot article. Stopping after half of a muffin is like a coitus interruptus and this is the major reason for unplanned births. You simply don't do that.

Bigger & Sweeter - The new normal

Our subconscious mind does not understand the idea of "No" or "Less". Try to not think about elephants for a second. What do you think about right now? Yes. Elephants. We can easily be fooled into the idea of "More" and "Yes" and we do not like to cut muffins and keep the rest for later. It takes work and a conscious decision to decrease your serving size and many of us just don't care.

And this is the reason why everything got bigger and sweeter over the years. They sell it to us and we like to purchase it and eat it. So, bigger and sweeter got the new normal.

As a result the prevalence of obesity changed from 13% in 1980 to 34% in 2008 and it is still increasing. People eat more and sweeter -> people get fat. Each year over 100.000 people die in the US as a direct result of obesity. These are preventable deaths. 

The bottom line - How to escape

Knowing the vicious cycle we need to ask ourselves how to escape of course. 

Cook your own dishes!

We need to do the work and cook our own food again. Take the decisions  about what to eat and how much to eat yourself. No processed food and no pre-sized servings. Cut back on sugar and refined carbs and count your calories over the day. The concept of calorie counting is a scientific approach to weight control. Food is energy and we should only consume what we need. 

Finally it is thermodynamics. Energy in -> Energy out. If you consume too much, this energy is stored in your fat cells. You gain weight. Smaller servings prevent you from overeating and this means less weight gain in the end! Do the work and cook your own dishes!

 

 

 

Diet Health

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