A Lesson on Portion Size

Most Americans trying to manage their weight are aware that they should choose lower-calorie, lower-fat foods. Portion sizes are another important factor in weight control.

Larger sizes

Twenty years ago, the traditional 3-inch bagel that had 140 calories is now 6 inches and contains 350 calories. A small serving of fast-food french fries that weighed in at 2.4 ounces with 210 calories has ballooned to 7 ounces with 610 calories. 

Serving sizes given on nutrition labels of food packages are provided in cups, teaspoons, ounces, and other standard measures. But because most of us don’t carry around kitchen measuring devices, it’s more efficient to visualize what standard serving sizes should be. Relating portion size to an everyday item is an easy way to visualize what the size should be. 

A portion is how much food you choose to eat at one time, whether in a restaurant, at your desk at work, or at your kitchen table. A serving size is the amount of food listed on a product’s Nutrition Facts label.