When we ordered a soda in the 1950s we got approximately 7 ounces. Today, we get anywhere from 12 to 64 ounces. An average portion of french fries then was 2.5 ounces, today it’s up to 8 ounces. A single meal can easily contain a day’s worth of calories.
Our perception of a serving size has been influenced by the current trend for super sizing everything. What hasn’t changed is the number of calories in a pound. It’s still 3500. The difference in a 7 ounce soda and a 12 ounce soda is only 150 but if we consume 100 additional calories a day we’ll gain 10 pounds in a year.
Today’s servings, especially in restaurants, are sometimes as much as 8 times greater than the USDA standard recommended serving sizes. The size of our dishes, glasses, and waistlines grew to accommodate all the extra pounds. To get a grip on what a single serving used to look like here’s a glimpse at what our mom ate in order to fit into her girdle!
|Food or beverage||1950s||Current|
|French fries||2.4 ounces||up to 7.1 ounces|
|Fountain soda||7.0 ounces||12 to 64 ounces|
|Hamburger patty||1.6 ounces||up to 8.0 ounces|
|Hamburger sandwich||3.9 ounces||4.4 to 12.6 ounces|
|Muffin||3.0 ounces||6.5 ounces|
|Pasta serving||1.5 cups||3.0 cups|
|Chocolate bar||1 ounce||2.6 to 8 ounces|
“Sugar, fat, and salt are hijacking the brains of millions of people,” says David Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.