Friday, July 28, 2006

Super-Sized Bowls Lead to Super-Sized Portions

I think that all too often a part of the problem for people getting healthy and fit is they do not realize exactly what a serving size is. This is important when losing fat. Getting healthy and fit requires knowing what a serving size is. That is the only way you can accurately determine how many calories you are taking in versus how amny calories you are expending in a day. This article shows this.

To your Health and Fitness,

Super-Sized Bowls Lead to Super-Sized Portions

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- People who want to downsize their waistlines would do well downsizing the bowls they eat from, report researchers who threw an old fashioned ice cream social for coworkers to determine whether bowl and scoop size correlates to how much food people take.

Results reveal size does matter. Doubling the size of the bowl increased the amount of ice cream taken by 31 percent. When participants dipped up the frozen treat using oversized scoops, they took about 14-percent more.

People at the event were given either 17 ounce or 34 ounce bowls and either 2 ounce or 3 ounce scoops and told to help themselves to the ice cream. In cases where participants received both the bigger bowl and bigger scoop, they took nearly 57-percent more.

The findings are especially interesting, as the participants in the study were 85 food and nutrition experts who had gathered to celebrate the success of a colleague. While these professionals were good at estimating the size of their portions and the amount of calories they likely contained, they still took more when faced with the bigger bowls and scoops. All but three gobbled up the entire bowlful of ice cream.

"The fact that even they end up being tripped up by these cues just helps to show how ubiquitous and how subversive these illusions can be," reports study author Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University.

If nutritionists can't resist the temptation to super-size, what hope is there for the rest of us? According to the authors, the take home message from the study may be simply to encourage people to re-engineer their immediate environment to replace larger bowls and spoons with smaller ones. They also note studies have revealed people who eat from smaller bowls are less likely to feel as if they are "sacrificing" or "on a diet."

SOURCE: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published online July 25, 2006

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