Tag Archives: portion distortion

How Have Portions Become Distorted?

There used to be a wonderful set of slides available from the Dept. of Health and Human Services on how portions have become distorted over the past 20 years. Somehow they have evaporated from cyberspace.

I found a few of them on the web and thought I would share them with you.


The first is Spaghetti and Meatballs. Today we have 1025 calories in the form of two cups of pasta with sauce and three large meatballs. Two decades ago we were served one cup of spaghetti with sauce and three small meatballs. The difference is remarkable. The old way we got 500 calories for our meal. Nowadays it comes to 1,025 calories, or double what we used to get and half what we need to consume in our three meals.

The second example is the turkey sandwich. Currently we get a pile of turkey with all the trimmings served on a mini loaf of bread for 825 calories. Two decades ago we had several slices of turkey with trimmings served between two slices of bread for 325 calories.


The final example I found which is excellent, but was not a part of the original slide presentation shows two dinner plates. In 1963 we ate off of nine inch plates that held about 810 calories. Now we eat off of 12 inch dinner plates that hold 1870 calories.

Before you pooh-pooh this last example, try switching to smaller plates and servings and see what happens.

Studies indicate that people who eat off of smaller plates consume less calories. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

To read more about portion distortion check out the following recent posts: A fresh look at portion control and portion distortion and What are some excellent examples of portion control?


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Filed under calories, portion control, portion distortion, portion size, Weight

A Fresh Look at Portion Control and Portion Distortion

Yesterday I published what I consider to be one of the best examples of portion control that I have seen. As I have mentioned time and again, I am in my fourth year of success at controlling my weight and writing this blog. The major tool in that pursuit was the learning of portion control.

That’s why I thought this wonderful illustration which shows another way to look at portion control – through its distortion – would be helpful to you.


If you check out my Page – How to lose weight – and keep it off you will find further guidelines on protecting yourself for the attack of the calories on your weight and waistline.

Here is a super rundown from the American Diabetes Association on how portions have become distorted over the years.

Good luck in your New Year’s pursuit of weight control. I know you can do it.


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Filed under calories, portion control, portion size, Weight