In my copy of The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide revised & updated 3rd edition, which sits on a counter in my kitchen next to some other staples, it discusses “Portion Distortion”.

Don’t Get It Twisted

It goes on to say, “Today’s portions seem to say “Eat until you feel stuffed, not just until your satisfied.” With this attitude, it’s easy to see how adults and kids might lose their ability to regulate how much they eat….”

As a mere lad I was taught, as most kids are I suppose, to clean my plate. Waste not want not. My parents and grandparents weren’t doing anything wrong. They were teaching me not to waste good, home-cooked food. And good it was. I was very fortunate to eat the way I did growing up. How much is on the plate is a whole different matter.


A serving is defined as the recommended amount on a label based in ounces, 1/2 cups, etc. for optimal nutritional value.


A portion is how much we choose to eat. Or how much an establishment decides to give us.



Indeed, it can be extremely diffucult regulating how much we eat. Portion sizes in the U.S. have become downright out of control. Food porn shows us nauseating creations, but somehow we laugh at them and think them clever. Bacon lampshades and cupcake garnisments on hot fudge sundaes oozing with sauce.

In the now infamous documentary Super Size Me, Director Morgan Spurlock takes a rather dramatic look at the fast food industry. An extreme experiment, the premise is there. The ability to regulate how much we eat has become skewed. The restaurant chain featured has since removed the slogan.

Shop till you drop

Everywhere we go sizes for everything have dramatically increased. An online study shows that over a 30 year period from 1978 – 2008, the average number of items in our supermarkets have increased from 8900 to over 47,000. Is it any wonder why food shopping has become such a task.

30 years ago an 8oz cup of coffee with milk and sugar was 45 calories. Today, a 16oz Grande caffe mocha with whip? 330 calories.


So how do we make sense of it all?

Part II



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