Is Super- sizing Leading to Super- sized Americans?
Many Americans are eating a good deal more food than needed and it appears that rising rates of obesity are partly related to increased portion sizes.
Supersizing fast food can double or triple the caloric content of the foods compared to their regular sized counterparts. A single, supersized meal including a cheeseburger, large fries, and thick shake provides more calories (about 2200) then many people need in a day. Larger portions don’t cost restaurants much more than smaller portions, they increase sales volume, and they encourage people to eat more.
Among adults, a 50% increase in portion sizes of meals has been found to increase daily energy intake by 423 calories.
Frequent dining at fast food restaurants (three or four more times per week) that primarily serve burgers and French fries is associated with a higher intake of calories, soft drinks and fat and a higher risk of overweight and obesity than frequent use of full-service restaurants. On a positive note, some restaurants have recently begun to offer smaller portion sizes or small plates and healthier menu options than in the past.