Expanding portion sizes in the US marketplace: Implications for nutrition counseling

Lisa R. Young, Marion Nestle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The greater energy content of larger food portions could be contributing to the increasing prevalence of overweight. Prevention guidelines recommend ″sensible" portion sizes but do not define them. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines standard serving sizes for dietary guidance, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines standard servings for food labels. To use these standards in counseling, nutritionists must know the sizes of portions available in the marketplace. We determined marketplace portion sizes, identified changes in these sizes with time, and compared current marketplace portions with federal standards. Most marketplace portions exceed standard serving sizes by at least a factor of 2 and sometimes 8-fold. Portions have increased over time; those offered by fast-food chains, for example, often are 2 to 5 times larger than the original size. The discrepancy between marketplace portions and standard servings suggests the need for greater emphasis on the relationship of portion size to energy intake as a factor in weight maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-234
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Volume103
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2003

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Portion Size
portion size
diet counseling
Counseling
markets
serving size
Serving Size
fast foods
food labeling
counseling
dietary recommendations
nutritionists
Fast Foods
Food
United States Department of Agriculture
weight control
Food Chain
Nutritionists
food chain
energy content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Expanding portion sizes in the US marketplace : Implications for nutrition counseling. / Young, Lisa R.; Nestle, Marion.

In: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 103, No. 2, 02.2003, p. 231-234.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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