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  • A Little of This and More of That?

  • Our forefathers probably never said, "Super Size it," but are portion sizes today really any different than they were years ago?

    It depends on where you eat. Nutrition experts agree that restaurant servings have increased dramatically in the past two decades. They blame a famous fast food chain's "Super Size" campaign, which changed the mindset of consumers, who realized they could get more food for their money. Restaurants embraced the new attitude, which allowed them to charge higher prices for meals that cost little more to produce. Today, the average meal in a restaurant is two to three times the USDA recommended meal size. Restaurant meals also tend to be higher in fat content.

    If you cook up a big meal at home, chances are your portion sizes aren't much different than those served up years ago. The problem is, people today are more sedentary and require fewer calories.

    Here are some simple guidelines:

    • A portion of meat, poultry or fish is the size of your palm
    • A portion of rice or pasta is the size of your fist
    • One serving of fruit is also the size of your fist
    • A serving of cheese is the size of your thumb
    • A serving of butter or margarine is the size of a thumb tip

    Find out more:
    How many servings do you need each day?Check out The USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

    Dining out the healthy way: