As portions become bigger, how much should we really eat?
I recently saw a hard-bodied woman ball up her blinged fingers into a tiny fist and lift it over her enormous sirloin and chips in a steakhouse. Her equally gym-honed date didn’t bat an eyelid, because she wasn’t about to punch his lights out – she was merely trying to measure the portion size of her nightly carb allowance.
Fist-sized is about right, according to Sioned Quirke, a dietitian specialising in portion control and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association. Like many nutrition professionals, she’s aware that while those watching their weight may be trying to cut calories, many of us have lost sight of what a normal portion is.
This is in part because portion sizes in restaurants and the food we eat at home have increased gradually
over the past 20 years, according to the British Heart Foundation, which published its own report, Portion Distortion: HowMuch
AreWe Really Eating?, on the subject in October last year. The short answer, by the way, is too much.
Juliot Vinolia, clinical dietitian and consultant nutritionist at iCare Clinics, Dubai, agrees that portion sizes have grown as businesses try to attract customers by offering more.
“The size of the pizzas, sandwiches and cupcakes have definitely increased over the years,” she says. “Selling big portions is a business strategy and in most cases people are left with no choice but to buy what’s available.”
That said, many people are secretly happy because they believe they are getting more for their money, not knowing that it could be costing them their health. “And that could be contributing to the
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