In a society where many tend to judge the value of a meal by it’s size more than it’s nutritional content (or even its taste), there is more than a indication that our ideas of portion-control are majorly skewed. The result of this improper view, along with many other factors, has been a rise in obesity and obesity-related disease along with an overarching unhealthy relationship with food. So what can we do to remedy this widespread problem?
There have been suggestions that changing package labels to indicate the nutritional value of an entire packaged product rather than just the nutritional value of what is considered a single serving size would be helpful.
But what if the solution in something we are already doing? Single-serving packaging has become popular mainly for convenience. And you usually find these products geared toward children or those meticulously “counting calories,” but this method of single-serving packaging could provide just the psychological cue we need to make a real start in controlling calorie-intake and reducing overweight and obesity in those struggling with portion-control.
APPEARANCE REALLY IS EVERYTHING
There is increasing evidence to show that how food is packaged influences how much food we will consume. For example, in study found in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it was found that single-serving packages (SSPs) could aid those seeking to practice dietary restraint by reducing consumption.
The experiment compared the amount of pretzels consumed by overweight/obese participants who were given 20 oz. of pretzels to eat, ad libitum, either in SSPs or in standard serving packages (STPs). Results of the study showed a significant decrease in the amount of pretzels consumed by those receiving SSPs, indicating that packaging food in SSPs may aid in reducing consumption in those who are overweight/obese.
If these results seem ordinary, they are. It’s no surprise that knowing just how many servings you are consuming can, and will change how much you eat.
Now, does this mean you should go out an buy only food that is individually packaged? By no means! On the contrary, save yourself some money by purchasing standard serving packages and separating food into servings in plastic baggies or reusable containers yourself. Not only will you be able to better regulate eating snack-type foods, but if you package individual servings of fruits and vegetables to eat, you may even find yourself consuming more of the right kind of foods! You’d be surprised how many fruits and veggies you should be eating to get to your recommended 2-3 cups of veggies and 1 1/2-2 cups of fruit a day!
For More Information on Portion Control: CLICK HERE
So if you’re like me, or the rest of the country, and have trouble with portion control, try portioning out your foods after your next grocery store visit and see it it has an impact on your waistline. It’s an easy habit that can make a significant difference in your efforts to practice self-care and reach your goals!
“Weight Status Moderates the Relationship between Package Size and Food Intake.” Haire, Chrystal et al. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume 114, Issue 8, 1251-1256. August 2014.