Increasing portion sizes

Food portion sizes are increasing, and so are our waistlines. We investigate the connection.
 
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02.Serving size nonsense

Manufacturer-recommended serving sizes can be variable and unrealistic, as the following examples demonstrate, so they shouldn’t form the basis of a front-of-pack labelling system for our food products. 

CHOICE believes an interpretive system, which translates the numerical information already available in the nutrition information panel using colours, symbols, words or ratings – for example traffic lights - is more useful. Based on consistent measures of products such as 100g or 100mL, this system will help consumers compare products at a glance and identify the healthier options more easily.

Comparable products, different serving sizes

 oats  healthy-choice  coles-popcorn
A serving of Woolworths Home Brand Quick Oats (30g) vs a serving of Freedom Foods Quick Oats (60g) A serving of McCain Healthy Choice Chinese Chicken and Cashews (280g) vs a serving of McCain Healthy Choice Plus Honey Stirfry Chicken (420g) A serving of Coles Organic Sweet and Salty Popcorn (20g) vs a serving of Coles Butter Microwave Popcorn (100g)

Same product, different serving sizes

 mars-bar  smiths-chips
A Mars Bar serving is 18g, 36g or 53g depending on the pack size A serving of Smith’s Chips Original is 19g, 27g or 45g depending on the pack size

Unrealistic serving sizes

bulla-yoghurt   golden-circle dominos-pizza-hut 
A 225g tub of Bulla Yoghurt Crunch contains 2.25 servings (conveniently, one single serving is just under 600kJ, the generally accepted reasonable energy for a snack) A 300mL bottle of Golden Circle Healthy Life Probiotic juice contains 1.5 servings, although people can reasonably consume the whole bottle in a single sitting A serving of Domino’s and Pizza Hut pizza from their regular range is just one slice; we believe most people would eat at least two or more
 

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