Texans are proud of saying that everything is bigger where they live, but the truth is that this applies to just about everything Americans do, including the size of food they eat. Studies have shown that Americans consume more food per sitting than any other nation in the world. And as food portions have grown, so have waistlines and corresponding incidents of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Here are some of the reasons Americans just can’t get their portions down to size.

 

Increased Plate Size

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In the old days, plates were eight inches or 10-inches, and when you put moderate sizes of food on them, they looked appropriate. But these days, plates are 12 inches and bigger, so when you put the correct portions on them, the food looks way too small. And the bigger plate size affects your perception of how much food you need. So instead of a normal-size burger, you need a double or triple cheeseburger on that bigger plate, and that leads to lots of overeating and unhealthy eating behavior. To combat that distorted perception, buy smaller plates, or dole out your food into bowls, and you’ll get a much better sense of how much food to eat.

 

Restaurants Have Gone Mega

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It’s not just at home that Americans are fighting the battle of large portions, but they are also confronted with it when they eat out. Fast food joints and restaurants alike have more than doubled their serving sizes since the 1950s. Most fast food stands in the old days would serve hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and that was it. Now, you can load up as many as nine patties on a sandwich, or ‘supersize’ your meal with large fries and a large drink (all laden with fat, sugar and calories) for a few more dollars. Restaurants often serve huge bread bowls, max-size salads and main courses that are twice the recommended portions laid out by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture.