Obesity: Don't Kill the Cooker

Okay, no doubt. Portion sizes at most restaurants are ridiculous, but, no one says you HAVE to eat all of it. However, some new research claims the chefs might be feeding our fatness. The New York Times Well blog is on it. Here’s a bit:
Researchers at Clemson University recently surveyed 300 chefs about what goes into their decisions about portion sizes and the food they serve diners. The study, published in the August issue of Obesity, found big differences between what chefs consider a regular portion compared to the standard serving sizes dictated by the United States Department of Agriculture. When chefs were asked to estimate a typical portion size of penne pasta served in their restaurant, for instance, half of the chefs suggested portions that are six to eight times larger than the U.S.D.A.’s standard 1-ounce serving. Nearly half the chefs said they normally serve 12-ounce steaks in their restaurants, although the U.S.D.A. says daily meat intake shouldn’t exceed 5.5 ounces…

…Targeting chefs to improve the quality and serving-sizes of the food they provide diners is a strategic way to improve the nutrition of large numbers of people, says study co-author Marge Condrasky, assistant professor of culinary science. Clemson researchers already are distributing nutrition information at culinary conferences and talking about ways chefs can improve the nutritional quality of meals without affecting presentation or taste.
This smacks of “don’t kill the messenger.” What do you think? Personally, I’m not big on blame-shifting. If you look in the mirror and see a fat person and it upsets you. You’ve got no one to blame but yourself, not mommy, not daddy, and certainly not some cook.
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Jessica - December 7, 2007 12:02 PM

Seriously! We love to blame others for our bad choices don't we? Here are some ideas that contain some personal responsibility:

Split the meal with someone. It's cheaper and healthier!

Ask for a to-go box up front. When you get your meal, just go ahead and put at least half in the container. You've got another meal for another time!

Too much of a good thing. Even if your meal is "healthy" that doesn't mean you can eat more than you need. Eat just until satistied no matter what is is.

Britannia Cookers - November 3, 2008 7:10 AM

There's absolutely no doubt that the larger portions feed our problems as humans. We don't want to waste food, are generally weak when it comes to saying no and given smaller portions we would eat less - fact. But - given smaller portions we would go elsewhere to eat - fact. Supply and demand means this problem is almost impossible to tackle with the big restaurant chains.

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