Serving up inconsistency

CHOICE takes a look at the unrealistic and variable serving sizes provided by food and drink manufacturers and retailers.
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03.How to beat portion distortion

To help reduce portion distortion – and control kilojoule intake:

  • Eat from smaller plates and bowls and use smaller spoons for serving and eating. One US study found that switching from a 10- to a 12-inch dinner plate (equivalent to switching from a 25cm to 30cm plate) caused people to consume 22% more calories at a meal. Australian research has shown that reducing portion sizes is an effective technique for weight loss.
  • Drink from tall narrow glasses rather than short wide glasses. Studies have found that people pour 28-77% more into short wide glasses.
  • Pre-portion your foods. Don’t eat directly from a box or bag or container that contains multiple servings of a food such as a family size bag of chips or a tub of ice cream. It’s hard to keep track of how much you’re eating so it's easy to overeat.
  • Don’t have second helpings.
  • Choose the smallest container/cup/plate on offer when buying takeaways. They usually contain more than enough food (and kilojoules).
  • Don’t be tempted by value meals or supersized/king-sized portions. They may be good value for money, but they’re often bad bargains in terms of kilojoules.

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