Restaurants Blamed for Widening Waistlines

Report: Super-sizing is alive and well

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It seems like everything is big in America's war with its ever-increasing waistline.

    Consider this:

    • Big business. From dieting programs to diet beverages to diet foods to gyms, the weight loss business brings in an estimated $30-$55 billion annually.
    • Big problems. 34.2 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over are overweight, 33.8 percent are obese and 5.7 percent are extremely obese, according to the Centers For Disease Control.
    • Big solutions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines are the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy and education efforts. It's an 84 page document online.
    • Big portions. Government servings are supposed to reflect what people actually eat. But The Center For Science In The Public Interest  finds what we think of as normal servings are anything but. For example, the USDA describes a typical sandwich or burger serving as 5 oz.; a muffin or bagel serving as 2 oz.; and a typical serving of chicken or steak is only 3 oz. cooked. Take a look. The CPSI said what you're getting is actually much more.
    So, how do you portion down? You can always memorize a food list or carry around measuring cups. But it would probably be easier to use common visual cues. Many foods match up to everyday objects. Following portion control will help you in that battle against the bulge.